Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of Kentucky and Kentuckians; the leaders and representative men in commerce, industry and modern activities"

See other formats


3 3433 08181921 5 

V.'i ■ 

, PR 



Kentucky and Kextuckiaxs 

The Leaders and Representative Men in Commerce, 

Industr\- and Modern Activities 









'^ >vn 



Virginia is not alone the Mother of Presi- 
dents, but of states as well, Kentucky being 
her first and best-loved child. From territory 
ceded by Virginia to the Federal government, 
the splendid states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, 
Wisconsin and a portion of Minnesota, were 
formed. This imperial domain, willingly and 
graciously bestowed, would seem sufficient to 
have granted the Old Dominion immunity 
from despoilment, but this was not to be. In 
the midst of the horrors of internecine strife 
during, the War between the States, her fair 
territory was despoiled by force of arms and 
the state of West Virginia was formed from 
the mountainous western section, much of 
which lies adjacent to Kentucky. Virginia, 
which had given to the Union Washington, 
Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Patrick Henry, 
"Light Horse" Harry Lee and a host of other 
illustrious sons, did not escape the devastating 
effect of war. Even her first-born child, di- 
vided in sentiment, with the hand of father 
against the hand of the son, of brother oppos- 
ing brother on war's red field, could not or 
would not raise a voice against the despoil- 
ment of the Mother State. The great wrong 
has at last come to be acquiesced in, and there 
is nothing left to the historian but to set 
forth the fact and pass on to other and more 
pleasing themes. 

Kentucky, from its first entrance into his- 
tory, has been a land of romance, of story and 
of song. The story of its first explorers and 

that of Uie gallant "Hunters of the West," of 
whom one of her sons has sung, is an epic 
poem. Along the pages of this poem move 
those grim hunters of men: Daniel Boone, 
Simon Kenton, Logan, Floyd, George Rogers 
Clark and scores of others of their manly kind 
in stately tread, making clear the way for those 
who were to come after and give the then 
wilderness of the west its proud place in the 
sisterhood of states — a place so unique and 
distinctive as to set Kentucky apart from all 
other states, and to make her sons claim the 
whole broad commonwealth and no small sec- 
tion thereof as their own. 

A Kentuckian traveling in France was 
asked by a Virginian whence he came and re- 
plied "I am a Kentuckian ;" when the other 
responded "You Kentuckians are the most 
loyal sons of their state whom I have met. 
Ask an Ohio man whence he comes and he is 
from Cincinnati ; an Illinois man is from Chi- 
cago; but a Kentuckian is from Kentucky, 
and I honor him for it. The whole common- 
wealth is his." This is as it should be. Pa- 
triotism knows no narrow boundary lines. 

When civil war came to divide and distract 
the state's peaceful and happy communities, 
Kentucky's sons took up arms as the sense of 
duty impelled them, but, each from his own 
point of view, was fighting the battle of Ken- 
tucky and the Union, or Kentucky and the 
Confederate states ; and it is to the eternal 
honor of the state that with few exceptions. 



each did his duty bravely and brought no 
sliame to the name of his state nor his pio- 
neer fathers. 

Upon whatever fields Kentucky's sons have 
fought they have added imperishable honor to 
the state. Whether in pioneer days they met 
the savage in the wilderness, or later the dis- 
ciplined forces of England at New Orleans ; 
the half-savage hordes of Santa Ana on the 
arid plains of Mexico, or in the fraternal 
strife of 1861-5, always "there stood Old 
Kentucky" in the person of her stalwart sons 
doing their duty every one, avoiding no serv- 
ice however arduous, shirking no duty how- 
ever dangerous, and writing large upon the 
history of their country the magic name Ken- 
tucky. A learned judge charging the grand 
inquest of his court, enthused by his love for 
his state and his appreciation of the manly 
valor and love of justice always exhibited by 
her sons, declared : "Kentuckians are an im- 
perial race. They love justice because it is 

justice, and detest vice and wrong-doing be- 
cause they are abhorrent to their sense of right 
and justice." 

Of the great masses of Kentucky's people 
these words are true, despite the efforts of 
sensation mongers at home and elsewhere to 
magnify local happenings in certain localities 
into state-wide import. In the subsequent 
pages of this work these disturbances and 
their impelling causes will receive notice and 
explanation, and no pride of state nor loi:ality 
will be permitted to gloss over wrong-doing, 
nor shall excuse be sought for those who, for- 
getting their heritage as sons of a proud state, 
have ruthlessly violated its laws. In a word, 
every effort is to be made to set down truth- 
fully the history of the state with favors to 
none ; animosity to none ; with freedom from 
political bias or predilection, and a sincere de- 
sire to tell the truth, the whole truth and noth- 
ing but the truth — let it hurt or help whom it 


Those who read this vokime will find it unlike the usual history. It 
is the earnest work of a man who has spent a third of his life in a 
newspaper office. This will account for the style in which it is written 
and, in some degree, for its matter. Of the early history of Kentucky 
not much will be found that is new. Earlier writers have so thoroughly 
gleaned that field that little is left for the historian of today. Coming 
nearer to our own time, the writer claims that his work contains much 
that is new. There will be those who will criticise what is written. It 
would be a stupid history which pleased everyone, and the writer will 
welcome honest criticism. He has, in all instances, endeavored to as- 
certain exact facts and to set them down fairly. He has opinions, and 
it may be, some prejudices. As he was not writing a mere gazetteer, he 
has stated his opinions where it seemed proper and has kept his preju- 
dices in check to what he trusts is a reasonable extent. 

His thanks for assistance generously rendered, are due to Mrs. 
Madeline McDowell Breckinridge, Rev. E. Y. Mullins, Rev. Thomas 
J. Jenkins, Rev. L. H. Blanton, Rev. Harvey Glass, Gen. B. W. Duke, 
E. G. Logan, Col. R. T. Durrett, A. C. Quisenberry, Col. J. Stoddard 
Johnston, Prof. H. H. Cherry, C. J. Norwood, Dr. Henry Enos Tuley, 
Young E. Allison, Blackburn Esterline and J. K. Patterson. 

It is proper to say that the author assumes responsibility for the 
first volume only, of this work. The biographical sketches in volumes 
two and three are the work of others than himself. 

The Author. 

Table of Contents 


LaSalle discovers Kentucky Shores — "Rapids" of the Ohio — Capt. Batts 
"Tracing a Pathway" — Through Cumberland Gap — Penetrating the In- 
terior — First Kentucky DwelHng — Gist and the Ohio Company — Din- 
widdie Halts the French — Washington on the Scene — Indians' "Happy 
Hunting Ground" — Origin of the Name. Kentucky i 


War vs. Exploration — Debt to Sir William Johnson — Boone, Savior of Ken- 
tucky — "Numerously" Born — Boone's Early Life — Boone and Party En- 
ters Kentucky 5 


Boone and Stewart Go Forth — Captured by Indians — Return to Deserted 
Camp — Joined by Boone's Brother — A Great Agent of Destiny — Alone in 
the Wilderness — Rejoined by Faithful Brother — "Happiest of Mortals 
Anywhere" 9 


. . . . -^ 

Problematic Journey Down the Mississippi — Knox's "Long Hunters" — Boone 

Again Starts Kentucky-ward— Surveyors Sent Out — Sites of Louisville 
and Frankfort — Indians Rise Against Settlers — Boone as a Warning Mes- 
senger — Great Battle between Red and White Men — Peace Treaty with 
Lord Dunmore 13 


Boone, of the "Transylvania Company" — Colonel Richard Henderson — Che- 
rokees Deed "Their" Lands — Boone, Colonizing Agent — Fort Boones- '^ 
borough Erected — Indians Attack, Despite Treaty — Felix Walker's Nar- 
rative — Turning Back the Faint-Hearts — Henderson's Royal Reception — 
Last American "Lord Protector" 17 



Pioneers of Harrodsburg — Lord Dunmore vs. Colonel Henderson — Hender- 
son Founds New Settlement — Opposition to Transylvania Compan}- — 
First Kentucky Legislative Assembly — Henderson's "Proprietory" Gov- 
ernment — Exhibits Indian Deed — Fear of Vassalage Arises — Garrison 
Dwindles — General Land Agent Created — Henderson Appeals to Con- 
gress — Transylvania Refused Recognition — "Misunderstood" Henry's 
Character — Opposition Appeal to A'irginia — George Rogers Clark Appears 24 


Clark in Command of Alilitia — Refuses British Military Commission — Op- 
position to Transylvania Scheme — Delegate to Virginia Assembly — His- 
toric "Five Hundred Pounds of Powder" — A Double \'ictory — -Transyl- 
vania Dies ; Kentucky Born 33 


Bringing the Powder to Kentucky — At Harrodsburg — Death and Disaster — ■ 
Indians Defeated — True Pioneers Rejoice — Clark the Man of the Hour t^"] 


Hamilton Clark's Opponent — Rescue of Three Kentucky Daughters — First 
Marriage in Kentucky — Harrodsburg ^ilarked for Destruction — Indians 
Thwarted — Futile Attack on Boonesborough — Logan's Bravery and Wis- 
dom 40 


Kentucky Almost Deserted — Raise Siege of Logan's Ford — Clark Gets Re- 
liable Information — Military Aid from Virginia — Clark's Two Sets of 
Instructions — Land Grants to Volunteers — Clark's Expedition Reaches 
Louisville 44 


Expedition's Objects Made Known — Leaves the Falls for Kaskaskia — Blood- 
less Capture of Kaskaskia — Surprising Message to the French — Cahokia 
and Vincennes also Americanized — Hamilton, the "Hair Buyer" — Clark's 
Invading Army, 170 Strong — Band of Nation-Builders — Advance Mes- 
sage to \'incennes — Grand Results of Clark's Expedition — Returns to 
Falls of the Ohio 49 


Boone Captured — Self-Sacrifice for Others — Taken to Detroit — Adopted in- 
to Indian Tribe — Escapes — Reaches Boonesborough — Goes Indian Hunt- 
ing — Surrender of Fort Demanded — Refuse to Surrender — French At- 
tempt Deception — Mines and Countermines — The Siege Raised — Inci- 
dents of Siege 56 



Corn Islanders Removed to JNIainland — First Settlers of Louisville — Hard 
Winter of 1779-80 — Louisville Certain — Clark Erects Fort Jefferson — 
Successful Invasion of Enemy's Country — Northwestern Indian Confed- 
eration — Indians, Under Girty, Defeated — Gallant Women of Bryan's 
Station 64 


Terrible Ambush at Blue Lick — Gathering of Fugitives — Fate of Prisoners 
• — Massacre at Kincheloe's Station — No Peace for Kentucky — Another 
Appeal to Mother Mrginia — Logan on the Blue Lick Affair — Todd on the 
Blue Lick Disaster — Even Eoone Depressed 72 


Great Campaign North of the Ohio — Creation of Kentucky — Clark Unappre- 
ciated by Virginia — Boone's Later Years — At Ninety — Not Illiterate — 
Simon Kenton — "Proudest Day of his Life" — Clark's Large Plans — 
Floyd's Disaster on Long Run — Scene of Civil War Battle — Indians' 
Power Forever Broken 79 


Virginia's Gift to the LTnion — Cutting off of West Virginia — Danville Con- 
vention and Statehood — First Kentucky Assembly — Petitioning \'irginia 
for Statehood — Assemblymen from Four Counties — "Committee of the 
Whole" Reports — Of Yesterday. Yet of Today — Address to Virginia 
Legislature — Bearers of the Address 86 


An Address to the People — Pen Picture of General Wilkinson — Thirty Thou- 
sand in Kentuckv — \"irginia Assents to Separation — Assembly Resolutions 
^Asks to Come Into the L'nion — Now Seven Counties — Congress Unre- 
sponsive — Indian Attacks Renewed — To the Mother of Kentucky — Death 
of Colonel Christian— Fourth Danville Assembly — \'irginia Adopts New 
Measure— Could Wait ; Also Fight 94 


Wilkinson, The Discord Sower— Free Navigation of the Mississippi— Span- 
ish Designs Narrowly Averted— Wilkinson's Stumbling Block lOi 


"The Kentuckv Gazette" — Another Plea for Admission— Wilkinson Founds 
Tobacco Trade— First Kentucky Congressman — Many Attempts at Sep- 
arate Government — Admission Again Postponed — Spanish Siren Sings to 
Brown— Letter from Chief lustice Muter— Judge Innes Drops a Hint. . 104 



Seventh Convention Meets — Revolution Proposed — Wilkinson and a Free 
Mississippi — Congressman Brown to the Front — Address to Spanish In- 
tendant — ''Court" Party in Power — Wilkinson and the Mississippi — Old- 
Time Address to \^irginia in 


Bitterness After the Convention — Spain's Tempting Offer — Charges Against 
^^'ilkinson — A British Emissary — Cincinnati Founded — John Filson and • 
the Filson Club ■ 1 16 


Objection to Debt Clause — Fourth Act of Separation — Ninth Convention 
Meets — Fruition of Hopes, Long Deferred — First State Government — ■ 
Governor Shelby — The Bullitt Family — "He Was a Breckinridge" — Gov- 
ernmental Wheels Start — Natural Speakers and Officials — First and 
Shortest Session — Honest State Legislators Needed 120 


Indian Peace Commissioners Murdered — Eastern View of Indian Question — 
Indians Reject Peace Proposal — "Mad Anthony" Moves Against Them — 
Kentucky Reinforcements — Campaign against the Maumees — Defeat of 
Indians and Allies — Wayne Gives British Officer "Light" — Treaty of 
Greenville 125 


American Love for France — Democratic Societies of Kentucky — Kentucky 
vs. Spain — Washington's Neutrality Proclamation — French-American 
Expedition under Clark — Governor Shelby to the Federal Secretary — 
Then, the Presidential Proclamation — French Minister Ignores It — Pro- 
posed Capture of New Orleans — Genet Recalled — New Orleans Project 
Abandoned — Democratic Societies Dissolved 129 


The Creation of Counties — Period of Needed Recuperation — Spain Again 
Checkmated — Off'ers Rejected Too Tamely — Sebastian, Only, Under Sus- 
picion — "Spanish Conspiracy" Analyzed 135 


U. S. Senator Marshall — Attempt to Discipline Judges— Garrard Succeeds 
Shelby — Bitter Adams-Jefferson Campaign — Litigation Over Land 
Titles — Injustice Righted 141 



Famous Resolutions of Young Kentucky — Errors of Reproduction and Au- 
thorship — Alien and Sedition Laws — Origin of Kentucky Resolutions — 
Jefiferson and Breckinridge Resolutions — Text of Jefferson Resolutions. . 145 


The Breckinridge Resolutions — Text of Adopted Resolutions — Freedom of 
Speech Molated — Alien Law Null and Void — LInlawfullv Deprived of 
Liberty — Protest Against Centralized Government — Call upon the Co- 
States 153 


Nullification Not in Kentucky Resolutions — Adopted Without Amendment — • 
Source of Foregoing Draft — Other State Legislatures Respond — Sup- 
ported by Mother Alone 158 


As to Action of Other States — Text of 1799 Resolutions — Nullification Clause 
- — Supreme Court, Constitution's Guardian 162 


Kentucky's First Constitution — New Constitutional Convention — A Short 
Convention, and a Long — France Rejects American Ministers — Outrages 
on American Shipping — Kentucky Divided in Sentiment — -Washington 
Again Commander-in-Chief — American Naval Victories — Peace with Na- 
poleon's Coming 165 


Cause of the Civil War — Slavery in Kentucky — Negroes as Freemen — 
Cruel Masters the Exception — Kentucky's Anti-Slavery Sentiment — 
Baptists Oppose Slavery — Freed Slaves Sent to Liberia — Further Action 
by Churches — Birney and His Mission — Punishment of Slave Kidnap- 
pers — "The Old Lion of Whitehall" — Fortunate in Sex — "Kentucky in 
Liberia" — For and Against Slavery — Cassius M. Clay Again — Rev. Rob- 
ert J. Breckinridge — New Constitution on "Free Negroes" — Emancipa- 
tion of the South — Berea College — Anti-Slavery Men Banished— Union 
Men Expel Abolitionists— Last Slave Sale in Kentucky— Irritating 
"Underground Railway" — Marriage of Slaves — The Dreaded "Patter 
Rollers" — Negro System of Communication — Selling Value of Slaves — 
Not Fighting for Slavery 169 



Army Veterans as Office Holrlers — Presidential Contest of 1800 — Election 
of Jefferson and Burr — KentucW's Part in the Contest — Repeal of 
Obnoxious Laws — Pioneer Kentucky Bank — Surplus of Courts — Louis- 
iana Purchase Frees the Mississippi — Republican Becomes Democratic 
Part}^ — Death of John Breckinridge 185 


Burr and His Ambitions — Balls to Burr and His Prosecutor — Henry Clay 
— Commences Political Career — Threatened War with Great Britain — 
Kentucky Legislation — Seventh State in Population — Harrison at Tippe- 
canoe — Death of Daveiss and Owen 192 


Earthquake of 181 1 — Alississippi Turned and Lake Formed — State Aid to 
Public Works — Act Against Dueling — Public Lotteries Legalized — 
Shelby Again Governor — Boone's Last Plea 198 


As Between England and France — Patriots in Power — Kentuckians Eager 
for War — Humiliated at Hull's Surrender — The Fighting Taylor Fam- 
ily — Hull's Disgrace — Defeat Stirs Kentuckians — Under General Har- 
rison — Relief of Fort Wayne — Two Future Presidents — Protecting 
Army Supplies — N^ature Defeats Harrison's Plans — Harrison Conceived 
Naval Program — American Victory at Frenchtown — American Rout at 
Raisin River — Kentucky Troops Hold Out — A British Promise — A 
Devilish J^Iassacre — Army Almost Wiped Out — Scalps Wanted, Not 
Ransoms — "Humane" Proctor Rewarded 202 


Isaac Shelby to the Front — General Green Clay — Investment of Fort Meigs 
■ — Disaster to Raw Kentuckians — Tecumseh Stops Massacre — British 
Withdraw to Maiden — A Dearly Bought Lesson — Johnson's Kentucky 
Cavalry — Heroic Defense of Fort Stephenson — Shelby Takes the Field 
— Kentucky Sharpshooters with Perry — Victory Electrifies Land Forces 
— Gallant Charge of Johnson's Cavalry — Indian Defeat — Tecumseh's 
Death — Heroic Johnson Family — Honor to Shelby and Others — A Ken- 
tucky Victory — Campaign Against the Pottawattomies — War Centers in 
New Orleans — Kentucky Troops En Route — First Naval Fight — Jackson 
Proclaims Martial Law — British Attacked at Bayou Bienville — Jackson 
Chooses Another Position — Americans Cannonaded, and Cannonade.. 211 


First Kentuckians to the Front — Support American Advance — .American 
\'oIunteer vs. British Regular — "Jackson's Day" — Justice to Kentucky 
Soldiers — Remarkable Xew Orleans Victory — British Withdraw — Battle 
After Peace Treaty 225 



Kentucky Surveyor and Steamboat Inventor — Rumsey's Invention — Fulton 
or Fitch — Murray, Inventor of "Bessemer Steel" — Madison and Slaugh- 
ter Administrations — "The Purchase" Lands — Kentucky's Season of "In- 
flation" — General Adair, Governor — Proposed Legislative "Relief" — 
Legislature Against Judge — Chief Justice Boyle — William Owsley — Ben- 
jamin Mills — Relief (New Court) Party 236 


Relief Party and Leaders — Anti-Relief Party Leaders — Problems of Relief 
Party — A Policy of "Education" — Relief Party Wins Election — Legis- 
lated Out of Office — New Court of Appeals — Old Court Refuses to Die — ■ 
Reign of Judicial Chaos — Old Court Party Wins — Sharp-Beauchamp 
Tragedy — Fall of New Court — Judges Boyle, Mills and Owsley 239 


Clay or Jackson — Clay's Political Blunder — The Making of Jackson — "The 
Man "on Horseback" — Pathetic Death of Whig Party — Wild Banking in 
Kentuck)' — Baseless Paper Money : Boundless Speculation — Cry for Re- 
lief Answered 247 


Internal Improvements — Public Roads — River Improvements — Ohio Canal 
— First Railroad West of Alleghanies — Breathitt's "Jacksonian Adminis- 
tration" — Speculative Bubble Burst — Harrison Elected President — Clay 
Again Defeated 252 


Natural Sympathy with Texas — Opposition to Texas — Taylor Opens Mexi- 
can War — Kentucky's Mexican War Soldiers — Capture of Monterey — 
Awaiting Santa Anna at Buena Vista — Three Kentucky Regiments Pres- 
ent — Kentuckians at Buena \^ista — Honors to Brave Kentuckians — 
"Cerro Gordo" Williams — Triumphant American Militiamen — Reim- 
bursing the \'anquished — Field Officers of Third and Fourth Kentucky. . 259 


Taylor, Last Whig President — Sketch of Zachary Taylor — Historic "Com- 
rades-In-Arms" — The Constitution of 1849— Last of the Whigs — Know 
Nothing (American) Party — Louisville "Reign of Terror" — Downfall of 
Know Nothing Party 271 



The Greatness of Clay — Jackson and South Carolina — Clay, Protector of 
American System — Averts Civil ^^'ar — Clay's Supposed Retirement — Re- 
turns to the Senate ; Death — Aleriwether, Clay's Successor — Elections of 
1856-8 — Military Demonstration Against Mormons — Kentucky Whigs 
Last Struggle — Panic of 1857 — Kentucky in 1850-60 — Eighty-Five Years' 
Increase — Most Fecund People of History — Industrial and Commercial 
Advancement 277 


Not Bound Up in Slavery — For Union and Constitution — Political Parties of 
i860 — Kentucky Dilemma — Advice of Kentucky and Greeley 288 


Crittenden's Proposed Compromise — Compromise Rejected — Kentucky's Ef- 
forts for Peace — Robert Anderson, of Kentucky — Kentucky's Stanch 
Unionism — Peace, but not Coercion — Extraordinary Legislative Session 
of '61 — Supports Virginia Peace Conference — Colonels Jacob and Wol- 
ford — Special Session Continued — Typical Breckinridge Family — Active 
War at Last — Anderson Drops from Sight — Governor Between Two 
Fires — Kentucky's Status in the Union — Her "Mediating Neutrality" — 
Reassembling of 1861 Legislature — Crittenden as Mediator — Kentucky 
Houses Disagree — Proclamation of Mediation — Legislature's Impressive 
Adjournment — The Parting of the Ways 295 


Last Appeal for Union — Buckner-McClellan Conference — Unionists Carry 
Congressional Elections — Lincoln-Buckner-Crittenden Conference — Some 
Leading Confederate Soldiers — Some Leading Union Soldiers — Kentucky 
Soil Invaded 313 


Outlawed "Bushwhackers"' and "Guerrillas" — Arrest of Southern Sympa- 
thizers — Term "Rebel" Not Offensive — Kentucky Admitted to the Con- 
federacy — Provisional Government Established — Confederates at Bow- 
ling Green — Retreat Into Tennessee — General Sherman's "Crazy" Esti- 
mate — Buell and Johnston "Lining Up" — Fall of Fort Henry — Buckner, 
Hero of Fort Donelson — Fortunes of War and Life — Nashville Open to 
Attack — Number of Kentucky Union Troops — Shiloh and Johnston's 
Death — Kentucky Troops at Shiloh — Meteoric Morgan and Duke — Lin- 
coln's Emancipation Proclamation — Military Interference 321 


Governor Magoffin Succeeded by Robinson — Boyle and His Trials — Fighting 
on Kentucky Soil — Surrender of Colonel Wilder — The Munfordsville 
Surrender — Confederates Evacuate Frankfort — Battle of Perryville — 
Bragg Not a Kentucky Favorite — Orphan Brigade at Murfreesboro — 
Morgan's "Christmas Raid" — Cavalry "Pirooting" 237 



The First Kentucky Cavalry — Kentucky at Chickamauga — The Hehn Family 
— Kentucky Union Boys — Comparative Losses and Strength — Bragg and 
Morgan Disagree — Morgan "Takes the Bit" — Morgan's Men Captured, 
Dispersed, Reunited — First Kentucky at Lee and Gordon's Mill — Cavalry 
Lessons to the World — Retreat from Missionary Ridge — Kentucky 
Soldiers There .353 


Enrollment of Colored Troops — Rebel and Union Guerrillas — Burbridge, 
Kentucky's Dishonored Son — Federal Interference and Official Outrages 
— Last of Burbridge and His Rule — The End of the War 366 


Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation — Did Not Apply to Kentucky — How 
Kentucky Slaves Were Freed — Decline in Value of Slaves — Impressment 
of Slaves — Col. Wolford and His Speech — Enrollment of Colored Troops 
Continued — Credited to Northern States — Legislature Rejects Thirteenth 
Amendment — Slaves Freed Through Enlistment — Slave Enlistment Dis- 
continued — Kentucky Accepts Thirteenth Amendment 376 


Kentucky Officers in the Wars — The Splendid Kentucky Private — Defects 
of Union Records — Sad and Terrible War Reckoning — Futile Attempt to 
Keep War Issues Alive — Kentucky Politics After the War — Military 
Interference — The Soldier's "Good Angel" — Gradual Departure of Mili- 
tary Authorities — Obnoxious War Acts Repealed — Kentucky's Quick 
Reconciliation — Kentucky Members of the Fortieth Congress — Helm- 
Stevenson Administration — Constitutional Amendments Made Operative 
— Stevenson Succeeds McCreery — Negro Testimony Legalized 386 


President Patterson and the State University — The New President, Judge 
Barker — Blending of Church and State Control— Early Schools in the 
State— State and Local Aids— Higher Education First— "Old Field" or 
District Schools — "Yankee" School Teachers— Elementary Instruction — • 
Disciplining the Teacher — Education of Females — Centre College (Cen- 
tral University of Kentucky) 400 


The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary — Transylvania University — 
Becomes Kentucky University — College of the Bible — Transylvania Uni- 
versity Again — Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary — State 
Normal Schools— Their Establishment — The General Assembly of 1908 — 
Georgetown College — Kentucky Military Institr.te — Bethel College — 
Berea College — Other Educational Forces 420 



Kentuclcy^ Women in Politics — Traveling Libraries in the Mountains— Im- 
provement of Rural Schools — School Suffrage for Women — Preservation 
of Forests 446 


Thomas Tinsley, Pioneer Preacher — Severn's \'alley Baptist Church— Meth- 
odist Pioneers of the Word — First Annual IMethodist Conference — 
Bishop Asbury — Presbyterianism Founded — The Episcopalians — Ken- 
tucky Fully Protects Catholics — Fathers Whalen and de Rohan — Rev. 
Stephen T. Badin — First Permanent Assistant — Work of Father and 
Bishop Flaget — Bishop David and the See of Louisville 452 


Prior to the 1 890-1 Convention — Constitutional Convention Proceedings — 
Constitution of Kentucky 463 


Injurious Taxing System — Kentucky and Pennsylvania Svstems Compared — 
Burden on Widows and Orphans — Prevents Practical Development 493 


The Real Kentucky Mountaineer — Kentucky Speech, the Purest English — 
Rega! Men and Women 4^8 


Burley and Dark Tobacco Districts — Tobacco Trusts and Growers — The 
Farmers Combine — Suits Against the Burley Tobacco Society — Outrages 
of "Night Riders" 503 


First Democratic Defeat Since the War — Goebel to the Front — His Guberna- 
torial Opponents — The Unsavor>' '■:\Iusic Hall Convention" — Taylor Offi- 
cially Declared Elected — Goebel Contests the Election — Intimidation ( ?) 
of Voters — Goebel Assassinated — Assembly Declares Him Elected — Death 
of Goebel — The Murder's Aftermath — Election Only Partially Void 508 


Kentucky, ^Mother of Governors — Governors of Missouri — Illinois and In- 
diana Governors — Noted Kentuckians of Ohio — Western Governors- 
Tennessee, Texas and \^irginia — Territorial Governors 516 



The Topography — The River Systems — The Soils — The Geology — Geological 
Scale and Economic Values — Quarternary — Tertiary — Cretaceous — Penn- 
sylvanian (Upper Carboniferous) — -The Coal Fields — Mississippian 
(Lower Carboniferous) — Devonian — Silurian — Ordovician (Lower Silu- 
rian) 521 


Three Representative Kentuckians — John I\Iarshall Harlan — Some Notable 
Opinions — Simon Bolivar Buckner — Non-partisan Resolutions — J. Proc- 
tor Knott — His Administration 535 


The Press of Kentucky — The Gazette — John Bradford — Louisville's First ■ 
Papers — First Daily in Kentucky — George D. Prentice — Louisville Jour- 
nal — Louisville Democrat — Walter Newman Haldeman — The Courier- 
Journal — Henry Watterson — Emmett Logan — Louisville Times — Other 
Newspapers 555 


History of Medicine in Kentucky — Medical Journalism in Kentucky — Dr. 
Ephraim McDowell — Other Well-Known Physicians 571 


"Bones of Our Ancestors" — Society of The Cincinnati — Virginia Ancestors 
— Forefathers of Central Kentucky Settlers — Derivation of Surnames — 
Origin of the Name Quisenberry 583 



Abell, Eev. Robert A., 462 

Act Against Dueling, 200 

Action of other states, 162 

Active war at last, 304 

Adair, General, 234, 240 

Adams-Jefferson campaign, 142 

Address to the people, 94 

Address to the people of New Orleans, 221 

Address to the Spanish Intendant, 112 

Address to the legislature of Virginia, 91 

Admission again postponed, 107 

Adopted resolutions, text of, 153 

Advance message to Vincennes, 53 

Adventures of Simon Kenton, 83 

Adverse claims, triple layer of, 143 

Advice of Kentucky, 293 

Agent of Destiny, Boone, 10 

Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky, 

Alien and Sedition Acts, 289 

Alien and Sedition Laws, 186, 159, 153, 146, 162 
Alien law null and void, 154 

"Alumni Association of Central University," 413 
Ambush at Blue Lick, 72 
Americans cannonaded and cannonade, 223 
<i<^merican Colonization Society, 173 
American love for France, 129 
American ministers rejected by France, 166 
American naval victory, 168 
' ' American Practitioner, ' ' 572 
American rout at Raisin River, 207 
American Shipping, French depredations upon, 167 
American Society of Equity, 504 
American System, 194, 195 
American Tobacco Company, 503 
American Vessels shelled, 223 
American Volunteer vs. British Regular, 226 
Anderson, Major Robert, 298 
Anniversary of Kentucky, 35 
Another appeal to Mother Virginia, 76 
Another Kentucky plea for admission, 105 
Anntlier Neutrality Conference, 316 
Anti-Kuklux Law, 463 
Anti-Relief parties, 239 
Anti-Slavery meetings, 176 
Anti-Slavery men banished, 179 
Appearance of plains of Kentucky in 1775, 20 
Appendix, 589 
Arbiters Conference, 309 

Area of Kentucky, 521 

Area of Virginia gift, 86 

Areas of the coal fields, 529 

Army, Regular, 589 

Army under General Harrison, 204 

Army veterans as office holders, 185 

Arrest of Southern sympathizers, 322 

Articles of capitulation, 54 

Artillery Regiments of Mexican War, 590 

Asbury, Bishop, 455 

Asks to come into the Union, 97 

Assembly declares Goebel elected, 513 

Assembly, first Kentucky legislative, 26 

Assembly resolutions, 96 

Assemblymen from four counties, 89 

Assessment of slaves, 382 

At Harrodsburg, 37 

Attack on Boonesborough, 59 

Attack on Saltville, 374 

Attack upon Bryan 's Station, 72 

Attempt to discipline judges, 141 

AtticullaeuUa, 19 

Badin, Rev. Stephen, 458 
Badin's, Father, first assistant, 459 
Bailey, Dr. William, 579 
Balls given to Burr and his prosecutor, 192 
Band of Nation Builders, 53 
Banks, forty incorporated, 233 
Bank, first ' of Kentucky, 188 
Bank of Kentucky, 196, 250, 233 
Bank of Louisville, 250 
Bank of Northern Kentucky, 250 
Banks, Wildcat, 250 

Banquet to Justice Harlan on Twenty-fifth Anni- 
versary, 544 
Baptist Church, 452 
Baptist Church, first organized, 454 
Baptists oppose slavery, 172 

Barbecue on Col. Emmett G. Logan's Farm, 568 
Barker, Henry S., 403 
Battle after Peace Treaty, 229 
Battle between Red and White Men, 16 
Battle of Blue Lick, 72 
Battle of Bull Run, 317 
Battle of Frenchtown, 207 
Battle of Lake Erie. 215, 598 
Battle of Perryville, 344 
Battle of Point Pleasant, 22 


Batts, Captain Thomas, tracing a pathway, 2 

Bayless, Dr. George Wood, 576 

Bayou Bienville, British attacked at, 222 

Bearers of the address, 93 

Beattie, Ormond, 417 

Beckham, Governor, 514 

Berea College, 178, 441 

Bethel College, 440 

Bethel Female College, Hopkinsville, 441 

Bethel High School, 440 

Big Sandy, 521 

"Big Spring," 438 

Birdseye View of Middlesborough, 286 

Birney, James G., 173; his mission, 173 

Birthplace of Jefferson Davis, 390 

Bishop David and See of Louisville, 461 

Bitterness after the Convention, 116 

Bivouac of the Dead, 596 

Blending of State and Church control, 406 

Bloodless capture of Kaskaskia, 50 

Bloomfield Church, 453 

"Blue Grass," 523 

Blue Grass Land, 503 

Blue Grass, Harvesting, 524 

Blue Lick, Battle of, 72 

Boiling Springs, 24 

"Bones of Our Ancestors," 583 

Boone, Daniel, 6, 7, 11, 17, 24, 80; deposition of, 
82; adopted by Indians, 57; and John Stewart 
proceed to the Louisa Eiver, 9 ; and Party enters 
Kentucky, 7; again starts Kentucky-ward, 14; 
at ninety, 81; captured by Indians, 9, 56; cabin 
on Kentucky River, 8 ;v' colonizing agent, 18 ; 
court-martial of, 63 ; depressed, 78 ; early life, 
7 ; escape, 58 ; first expedition into Kentucky, 7 ; 
goes Indian hunting, 59; joined by brother, 10; 
last years of, 80; last plea of, 201; left alone in 
the Kentucky wilderness, 11 ; letter to Col. Hender- 
son, 19; monument, 200; not illiterate, 81; "nu- 
merously" born, 7; plea for restitution, 201; 
reaches Boonesborough, 58; "Savior of Kentuckv," 

Boone, Squire, 10 

Boonesborough, 40, 43 

Boonesborough attacked, 42 

Boonesborough fort erected, 18 

Border Slave State Convention, 313 

Bourbon County, 135 

Bowling Green, Old Fort, Eeservoir Park, 434 

Bowling Green from Reservoir Park, 436 

Bovle, Chief Justice John, 236 

Boyle, Gen. Jere T., 338, 366 

Boyle, Judge, 245 

Boyle and his trials, 338 

Bradford, John, 555 

Bragg, General, 340 

Bragg and Morgan disagree, 358 

Bragg not a Kentucky favorite, 346 

Brave Pioneer Women of Kentucky, 71 

Breaks of Sandy, 521 

Breathitt, John, 256 

Breathitt's "Jacksonian Administration," 2.56 

Breckinridge family, 121, 303 

Breckinridge, Desha, 497, 569 

Breckinridge, John, 121, 141, 147. 162; death of, 

Breckinridge, Maj. Gen. John C, 122, 191, 270, 
292, 303, 317, 374 

Breckinridge, Robert J., 122, 177, 191, 303 

Breckinridge, W. C. P., 122, 191 

Breckinridge resolutions, 153 

Bred in Old Kentucky, 363 

Bringing powder to Kentucky, 37 

British Emissary, 119 

British Promise, 208 

Brown, Hon. John, 105 

Brown, John Mason, 75 

Brown, Hon. John Young, 396, 508; elected con- 
gressman before reaching eligible age, 397 

Brown, Jos. Emerson, 422 

Brown's Letter, 108 

Bryan's Station Spring, 70 

Buckner, Gen. Simon B., 306, 314, 317, 464, 508, 545; 
conduct at Chickamauga, 550; Hero of Fort Don- 
elson, 550; military career, 545; term as governor, 

Buckner- JleClellau Conference, 314 

Buell, Gen. Don C, 327 

Buena Vista, Battle of, 264 

Bullitt, Alexander C, 166 

Bullitt, Alexander Scott, 121 

Bullitt, Capt. Thomas, 14 

Bullitt Family, 121 

Bull Run, Battle, 317 

Burbridge, Gen. Stephen G., 366, 369 

Burbridge, Kentucky's dishonored son, 369 

Burdens of taxation in Kentucky, 493 

Burley Tobacco, 503 

Burley and dark tobacco districts, 503 

Burley Tobacco Society, 504 

Burr, Aaron, 192; his ambitions, 192 

Bursting of Speculative Bubble, 257 

"Bushwhackers," 321 

Byrd, Colonel, 267 

Byron, Lord, on Boone, 11 

Cahokia and Vincennes also Americanized, 51 

Caldwell College, 444 

Call upon the Co-States, 157 

Camp Dick Robinson, 320 

Campaign against the Indians, 126; against the 

Pottawattomies, 218; against the Maumees, 127 
Campaign North of the Ohio, 79 
Campbell, Alexander, 177 
Canal Construction, 254 
Canal Zone, 520 
Capitulation of Vincennes, 54 
Captain Thomas Batts tracing a pathway, 2 
Capture of Monterey, 263 
Capture of three Kentucky girls, 40 
Carnegie Library for Kentucky State College, 402 
Carnegie Library, Shelbyville, 449 
Carondolet, Governor, 138 
Catholic Church in Kentucky, 457 
"Catholic Advocate," 462 
Cause of the Civil War, 169 
Cavalry lessons to the world, 362 
Cavalry "Pirooting, " 352 
Census of the counties, 601 
Census of 1810, 196 
Census returns of 1910, 601 
Census returns from 1790 to 1860, 170 


Central University, 413 

Centre College, 409 ; first president, 409 ; presidents, 

Ceremony of Indian adoption, 57 

' ' Cerro Gordo ' ' Williams, 374 

Chamberlin, Eev. Jeremiah, 409 

Charges against Wilkinson, 118 

Charges of treason, 116 

Charleston Convention of 1860, 290 

"Chattanooga Eebel," 564 

Chenault, Prof., 409 

Chenoweth, Dr. Henry, 578 

Cherokees deed land, 17 

Chester Group, 531 

Chester-St. Louis Group, 532 

' ' Chiekamauga, ' ' Meaning of, 361 

Child Labor Committee, 446 

Chimney Eock, 526 

Cliinu Mineral Company, 526 

Christian Count.y High School, 445 

Christian, Col. William, 98 

Christian Woman 's Board of Missions, 448 

Christmas, 1778, 65 

"Christmas Eaid, " 350 

Churches, 452 

Cincinnati founded, 119 

Cincinnatian Group, 533 

Circuit Courts, 476 

Circular letter to people of Kentucky, 102 

City Hall, Louisville, 231 

Civil War, 304; cause of, 169; Confederate loss in, 
357; Union loss in, 357 

Clark County, 135 

Clark, Eev. Francis, 455 

Clark, James, Governor, 257 

Clark, George Rogers. 11, 32, 33, 45, 79, 99, 214. 
288; arrives at the Falls of the Ohio, 48; at Kas- 
kaskia, 50; erects Fort Jefferson, 67; expedition 
of, 49 ; first visit to Kentucky, 33 ; gets reliable 
information, 45; in command of militia. 33; in- 
vading army of, 52; invasion of the Indians' 
country, 67; large plans of, 84; leaves the Falls 
for Kaskaskia, 49; march to Vincennes, 53; re- 
fuses British military commission, 33 ; the Man 
of the Hour, 38; two sets of instructions, 45; un- 
appreciated by Virginia, 80 

Clav, Cassius M'., 174, 177, 268 

Clay, Gen. Green, 211 

Clav, Henrv, 175, 193, 277, 446. 557; again de- 
feated, 257; averts Civil War, 280; death of, 
281; home of, 195; political blunder of, 247; 
political career of, 194; presidential hopes of, 
247; protector of American system, 279; return to 
the senate, 281; supposed retirement, 281 

Clinton of Ohio Group, 532 

Coal Fields, 529, 531 

Coal Measures, 528 

Cochran, Admiral, 223 

Colored Troops, enrollment of, 366 

Colonel Wolf ord 's speech, 379 

Columbian Formation, 527 

"Committee of Correspondence from Western Penn- 
svlvania," 101 

' ' Committee of Thirteen, 297 

Committee of the Whole reports, 89 

Committee on Federal Relations Resolutions, 309 

Compromise rejected, 297 

Conditions of those troublous times, 19 

Confederates at Bowling Green, 326 

Confederates Evacuate Fi-ankfort, 343 

Confederate Forces, 327 

Confederate loss in Civil War, 357 

Confederate Monument at Louisville, 347 

Confederate Movements, 326 

Confederate Troops in Battle of Missionary Kidge, 

Conglomerate Sandstone Measures, 528 

College of the Bible, 428 

Colony of Transylvania, 34 

Comparative losses and strength, 357 

Congress unresponsive, 97 

Congressman Brown to the front, 112 

Connolly, Dr., 119 

Constitution of Kentucky, 465 

Constitutional amendments made operative, 398 

Constitution's guardian, Supreme Court, 164 

Consumers' League, 446 

Contest committee, 512 

Convention of 1890-1, prior to, 463 

Cook, Dr. John Lay, 580 

Co-operation of Senators and Eepresentatives, 402 

Corniferous Group, 532 

Corn Island settlement, 64 

Corn Island stockade, 49 

Corn Islanders removed to mainland, 64 

Corustalk, 15, 17 

Corporations, 484 

Convention, fourth Danville, 99 

Convention proceedings, 464 

Counties and County Seats, 471 

Counties created, 135 

Counties in State, 13'5 

County Courts, 477 

County Medical Society, 572 

Country Party, 111 

"Courant, ' .567 

"Courier," 558 

" Courier- Journal, " 557, 558, 560, 561, 566, 567 

"Court Day" in Glasgow, 189 

Court House, Louisville, 464 

Court House, Maysville, 253 

Court of Appeals, 475 

Court partv, 111; in power, 113 

"Crab Orchard Salts," 533 

Creation of counties, 135 

Creation of Kentucky, 79 

Cretaceous Period, 528 

Crittenden, John J., 274 

Crittenden, Thomas L., 270 

Crittenden Compromise, 297 

Crittenden Compromise rejected, 297 

Crittenden 's proposed compromise, 295 

Croghan, Major, 214 

Cruel masters, the exception, 171 

Cullom, Shelby M., 517 

Cumberland Gap, 2, 13, 14 

Cumberland Mountain, 521, 525, 529 

Current of the Mississippi Eiver, 198 

Custom House and Post Office at Louisville, 91 

Cuttawa or Kentucky Eiver, 3 

Cutting off of West Virginia, 87 



' ' Daily Messenger, ' ' 569 

Daniel Boone Monument, 6 

Daniel Boone Monument, Cherokee Park, 200 

Danville Convention, SS 

' ' Dark and Bloody Ground, ' ' The, 4 

"Dark Tobacco District," 503 

Daveiss, Josepli Hamilton, 192, 197 

David, Et. Eev. John B., 461 

Davis, Jefferson, 268, 390; birthplace of, 390 

Death of John Breckinridge, 191 

Death of Colonel Christian, 98 

Death of Goebel, 514 

Death of Governor Helm, 397 

Death of Tecumseh, 217 

Debt Clause, objection to, 120 

Debt to Sir William Johnson, 5 

Decline in value of slaves, 378 

Defeat of Indians and Allies, 127 

Defeat and Surrender of Hull, 204 

Defects of Union Records, 388 

Delegate to Virginia Assembly, 34 

Democratic Party, 508 

Democratic Defeat, first since the war, 508 

Democratic Societies of Kentucky, 129 

Democratic Societies dissolved, 134 

Deportation of "True American," 175 

Deposition of Daniel Boone, 82 

Derivation of surnames, 585 

Desha, Joseph, 162 

Devilish massacre, 209 

Devonian, 532 

"Dime," The, 560 

Dinniddie, Eobert, 3 

Dinwiddle halts the French, 3 

Disciplining the teacher, 408 

Distribution of the powers of government, 467 

Doctrine of States Rights, 158, 290 

Dominican Sisters, 462 

Double Victory, 35 

Douglas, James, 15 

Douglas, Stephen A., 291 

Downfall of Know Nothing Party, 276 

Dreaded "Patter Rollers," The, 182 

Dudley, Dr. Benjamin W., 575 

Duke, Gen. Basil W., 180, 318, 332 

Dunmore, Governor, 15 

Dunmore vs. Henderson, 24 

Durrett, Col. Eeuben T., 1, 7, 25, 27, 48, 119, 162 

Earlier country schools, 407 

Early schools in the state, 404 

Earthquake of 1811. 198 

Eastern Coal Field, 522, 529 

Eastern Normal, 434 

Eastern View of Indian Question, 126 

Economic Jlaterials, 528, 529, 531, 532, 533 

Editor, first of Kentucky, 555 

Education, 483 

Education of females, 409 

Educational Improvement Commission, 435 

Eighth Convention, 120 

Eiglity-five years' increase, 284 

Election of .lefferson and Burr, 187 

Election onlv partlv void, 514 

Elections of' 1856-8, 281 

Elections after the war, 3S2 

Elementary instruction, 408 

"Emancipators," 172 

Emancipation Proclamation, 335 

Empire of the Mississippi, 134 

' ' Emporium and Commercial Advertiser, ' ' 556 

End of the war, 374 

English agents blamable, 33 

Enlistment of slaves discontinued, 382 

Enrollment of Colored Troops, 366 

Enrollment of Colored Troops continued, 379 

Enrollment of Colored Troops denounced, 366 

Entrance to Mammoth Cave, 432 

Episcopalians, 456 

Equal Eights Association, 447 

Errors regarding authorship of resolutions, 145 

Escape of Boone, 58 

Estaijlishment of State University, 436 

"Estill's Defeat," 171 

"Evening Leader," 569 

"Evening Post," 569 

Executive Department of Kentucky, 471 

Exhibits Indian Deed, 28 

Expedition, Boone 's fii-st into Kentucky, 7 

Expedition's objects made known by Clark, 49 

Extraordinary Kentucky Legislature, 300 

Extraordinary Session of 1861, 300 

Fall of the New Court, 245 

Falls of the Ohio, 1, 15, 48, 453, 458 

Famous Besolutions of young Kentucky, 145 

' ' Farmer 's Library, ' ' 556 

Farmers Tobacco Combine, 504 

Fate of the prisoners, 74 

Fayette County, 135 

Fayette County Court House, 278 

I'ear of vassalage arises, 29 

Federal interference and official outrages, 368 

Federal Hill, Bardstown, where ' ' Old Kentucky 

Home" was written, 596 
Federal Troops in Battle of ilissionary Eidge, 364 
Federation of Women's Clubs, 435 
Females, education of, 409 
Fighting on Kentucky Soil, 338 
Fighting Tavlor Family, 204 
Filson, John," 4, 7, 9, 10, 18, 119, 405 
Filson Club, 119 
Financial depression, 233 
Krst annual Methodist Conference, 455 
First assistant to Father Badin, 459 
First bank of Kentucky, 188 
First botanical garden in this country. 572 
First cabin in Kentucky, 25 
First citizen of Louisville, 562 
First constitution of Kentucky, 165 
First daily paper in Kentucky, 556 
First delegate from Kentucky, 105 
First Democratic defeat since the war, 508 
First Dragoons, 589 
First dwelling in Kentucky, 2 
First editor of Kentucky, 555 
First Episcopal Church, 456 
First gun in Civil War, 304 
First log cabin in Louisville, 47 
First Kentucky Assembly, 88 
First Kentucky Cavalry, 333 
First Kentucky Congressman, 105 



First Kentucky at Lee & Gordon 's Mill, 362 

First Kentucky Legislative Assembly, 26 

First marriage in Kentucky, 42 

First naval fight at New Orleans, 220 

First Negro Freeman, 170 

First permanent settlement of Kentucky, 170 

First railroad in Kentucky, 254 

First railroad constructed in the United States, 254 

First resident Catholic Pastor of Louisville, 462 

First seminary for girls, 409 

First state government, 121 

First settlers of Louisville, 64 

Fiscal Courts, 478 

Fitch, John, 230 

Flaget, Kt. Eev. Benedict Joseph, 461 

Floyd, John, 68 

Floyd's disaster of Long Eun, 85 

"Focus," 557 

For and against Slavery, 175 

Forestry preservation, 450 

Forrest, Gen. N. B., 564 

Fort of Boonesborough erected, 18 

Fort Donelson, 328 

Fort Jefferson, 67 

Fort Massac, 138 

Fort Meigs, 212 

Fort Stephenson, heroic defense, 214 

Fort Wayne, relief of, 205 

Forty banks incorporated, 233 

Fourth act of separation, 120 

Fourth Convention at Danville, 99 

Fourth Danville Assembly, 99 

Fourteenth and fifteenth amendments operative, 398 

France rejects American Ministers, 166 

"Frankfort Commonwealth," 569 

Frankfort, site of surveyed, 15 

Free Libraries, 449 

Free Navigation of Mississippi, 102 

Freed Slaves sent to Liberia, 173 

Freedom of speech violated, 154 

Fi-ench-American Expedition under Clark, 131 

French and Indian War, 3 

French attempt deception, 60 

French depredations upon American shipping, 167 

Frenchtown, Battle of, 207 

"Friends of Humanity," 172 

Fugitive Slave Law, 296 

Fidton, Robert, 230 

Fulton or Fitch, 230 

Further action by churches, 173 

Futile attempt to keep war issues alive, 390 

Gaines, John P., 268 

Gallant charge of Johnson's Cavalry, 216 

Gallant women of Bryan's Station, 71 

Garrard, Governor James, 142 

Garrard succeeds Shelby, 142 

Garrison dwindles, 29 

Gateway to the Soutli, 2 

Gathering of fugitives, 73 

Gayosa, Colonel, 137 

General assembly of 1908, 432 

General Buckner report, 314 

General Jackson, 219 

General Land Agent created, 29 

General provisions of Constitution, 487 

General Zachary Taylor monument, 273 

Genet recalled, 134 

Geology of Kentucky, o21-534 

Geological scale and economic values, 527 

Georgetown College, 438 

Gilbert's Creek Church, 454 

Girty, Simon, 68 

Gist, Christopher, 2, 3 

Gist 's report, 3 

Ghent, Treaty of, 229 

Glen Lily, Home of Gen. S. B. Buckner, 548 

Goebel, William, 509; assassinated, 512; to the front, 
509 ; gubernatorial opponents, 509 ; contests elec- 
tion, 511 

Gold medals for Kentucky volunteers, 599 

"Good Eoads System," 199 

Governor Carondolet, 13S 

Governor Shelby the Federal secretary, 132 

Governors of Missouri from Kentucky, 516 

Governors of Tennessee, Texas and Virginia from 
Kentucky, 518 

Governmental wheels start, 122 

Grand results of Clark's expedition, 54 

Great Britain, threatened war with, 196 

"Great Commoner," 175, 277, 446 

Greatness of Clay, 277 

Greatest field of coal in the State, 525 

Greeley, Horace, advice of, 293 

Green county, 135 

Gubernatorial election of 1899, 511 

"Guerrillas," 321 

Guerrilla warfare, 867 

Haldeman, Walter, 559 

Hamilton, Alexander, 186 

Hamilton, Clark 's opponent, 40 

Hamilton College, 444 

Hamilton, Henry, 40, 52 

Hamilton, the hair buyer, 52 

Hancock, Stephen, 57 

Hanson, Roger W., 317 

"Happiest of Mortals Anywhere," 12 

Happy hunting ground of Indians, 3 

Hard winter of 1779-80, 66 

Hardin, Colonel John, 125 

Hardin county, 135 

Harlan, James, 24 

Harlan, Justice John M., 24, 535, 537; some notable 
opinions of, 540 

Harlan 's service on the bench, 539 

Harrison county, 135 

Harrison, General William Henry, 196, 257; at Tip- 
pecanoe, 196 ; conceives idea of Lake Erie Fleet, 
206; elected president, 257 

Harrod, James, 14, 21, 26 

Harrodsburg, 28, 40; attacked, 42; convention of 
1776, 34; marked for destruction, 42 

Harvesting blue grass, 524 

Heart of Lexington, 278 

' ' Hedge Eow ' ' schools, 405 

Helm, Gen. Ben Hardin, 318, 356 

Helm, Governor, death of, 397 

Helm Family, 356 

Helm-Stevenson administration, 397 

Henderson, Col. Eichard, 17, 21 ; appeals to congress, 
29 ; founds new settlement, 26 ; proprietary govern- 
ment of, 27; royal reception of, 22 


"Herald," The, 556, 569 
Heroic Defense of Fort Steplienson, 214 
"He was a Breckiuridge, " 121 
Higher education fii'st, 406 
Highlands of Kentucky, in the, 49S 
Hinitt, F. W., 417 
Historic ' ' Comrades-iu-arms, ' ' 273 
Historic &xe hundred pounds of powder, 34 
' ' History of Morgan 's Cavalrj-, ' ' extract from, 346 
Hocker Female College, 444 
Hocker, James M., 444 
Home of Henry Clay, 195 
Honest state legislators needed, 123 
Honor to Shelby and others, 218 
"Hoola" Song, 182 
Hopkinsville High School, 445 
Hospital College of Medicine, 572 
Houstou, Sam, 259 
How Kentucky slaves were freed, 377 
Hull 's surrender, 203 
"Humane" Proctor rewarded, 210 
Humiliated at Hull 's surrender, 203 
Hundredth anniversary of Transylvania University, 

Illinois and Indiana governors from Kentucky, 517 

Impeachments, 471 

Impressment of slaves, 378 

Improvement of rural schools, 449 

In the Kentucky Highlands, 498 

Incident of Bryan Station siege, 71 

Incidents of siege of Boonesborough, 61 

Indians, attack, 19; attacks renewed, 98; campaign 
against, 126; confederation of, 68; defeated, 38, 
127; depredations, 38; in battle, 16; power for- 
ever broken, 85; reject peace proposal, 126; rise 
against settlers, 15; surprise Bryan's Station, 69; 
treaties by, 16, 17, 136; tribes aroused, 15; under 
Girty defeated, 70; warfare of, 68; warfare re- 
newed, 31 

"Indian Old Fields," 407 

Indians ' ' ' happy hunting ground, ' ' 3 

Indian Peace Commissioners murdered, 125 

Industrial and commercial advancement, 285 

Infantry regiments in Mexican "War, 590-1 

Iniquitous rule of General Burbridge, 373 

Injurious taxing system, 493 

Injustice righted. 143 

Innes, Judge, 137 

Internal improvements, 252, 253 

Intimidation (?) of voters, 511 

Investment of Fort Meigs, 212 

Investigation of slanderous reports, 384 

Ireland, Dr. Josiah, 581 

Jackson, Andrew, Gen., 247; admonishes South Car- 
olina, 278; proclaims martial law, 220 
"Jackson's Day," 226 
Jackson, Dr. John Davies, 578 
Jacob, E. T., 302 
Jefferson county. 135 
Jefferson letter, 147 
Jefferson resolutions, 148 
Jefferson resolutions, text of, 148 
Jefferson School of Law, 419 
' ' Jeffersonian Democrats, ' ' 256 

' ' Jessamine Dome, ' ' 525 

Jessamine Female Institute, 445 

Johnson Brothers, 217 

Johnson, George W., 318, 325 

Johnson, Sir William, 5 

Johnson's Kentucky Cavalry. 214 

Johnston, Albert Sidney, 259; death of, 331 

Johnston, Colonel J. Stoddard, 556 

"Journal," 557 

Journe.v down the Mississippi, 13 

Judge Clark's decision, 234 

Judge Innes, 137; drops a hint, 110 

Judicial department of Kentucky, 475 

Justices Courts, 477 

Kenton, Simon, 37, 51, 59, 82, 83 

Kentucky, anniversary of, 35; area of, 521; accepts 
Thirteenth Amendment, 384; almost deserted, 44; 
appeal to congress by, 97 ; admitted to the Con- 
federacy, 325; anti-slavery sentiment of, 172; as 
mediator^ 310; an armed camp, 327; at Chicka- 
mauga, 354; born, 35; between 1850-60, 283; be- 
tween two tires. 98 ; dilemma of, 290 ; divided in 
sentiment. 167 ; efforts for peace, 298 ; factories, 
total output of all, 495; first bank of, 188; first 
cabin in, 25; first constitution, 165; first dwelling, 
in, 2; first fort, 43; first organized effort to locate 
lands in, 2; for Union and Constitution, 288; fully 
protects Catholics, 457; gave 105 governors to 
other states, 516; governor of between two fires, 
306; Houses disagree, 310; invaded, 320; legisla- 
tion in. 196; members of the Fortieth Congress, 
390; "Mother of Governors," 516; motto of, 323; 
neutrality of, 314; ofScers in the Mexican war, 589; 
officers in the various wars, 386; origin of name, 4; 
part in the contest of 1800 by, 186; pasturage 
laud in, 524; permanent settlement of, 81; poli- 
tics after the war, 391 ; population of, 601 ; quick 
reconciliation of, 395; reinforcements, 126; season 
of "Inflation," 233; secedes, 311; second assem- 
bly of, SS; stanch Unionism of, 299; status in the 
Union. 307; steamboat inventor of, 230; soldiers 
at Jlissionary Eidge, 364; soldiers in the Mexican 
War. 262; soldiers from Arkansas, 595; soldiers 
from Illinois, 595; soldiers from Indiana. 595; sol- 
diers from Maryland, 595; soldiers from Missis- 
sippi, 595; soldiers from Missouri, 595; soldiers 
from Texas, 596 ; troops excelled those of other 
States, 387; troops at Shiloh, 332; wants self 
government, 87 ; women in politics in, 446 

Kentucky and Pennsylvania systems compared, 495 

Kentucky bov. embryo politician, 185 

"Kentucky Colonel."" 29 

Kentucky County, 35 

Kentucky daughters rescued, 41 

Kentucky's distinguished Confederate sons, 317 

Kentucky Educational Association. 432 

Kentucky Federation of Women 's Clubs, 448 

"Kentucky Gazette," 104, 555 

Kentucky Independent Company. 595 

"Kentucky in Liberia," 176 

Kentucky Military Institute. 439 

"Kentucky News-Era." 569 

Kentucky Normal Schools. 4 31 

Kentucky resolutions of 1798-9, 289 

Kentucky Sharpshooters with Perry, 216 


Kentucky speech purest of English, 501 

Kentucky State Capitol, 494 

Kentucky State College, Carnegie Library for, 4U- 

Kentucky State Jledical Society, 57- 

Kentucky surveyor, 230 

Kentucky Union Boys, 356 

Kentucky University, Medical Department, 572 

Kentucky University, 42S 

"Kentucky Yeoman," 569 

Kentucky vs. Spain, 130 

Keutuckians at Buena Vista, 266; eager for war, 
203; in the battle of Lake Erie, 59S; natural 
speakers and officials, 122; to the front, 225; sup- 
port American advance, 225; victorious, 218 

Keokuk-Knobstone Waverly Group, 531 

Knott, Hon. J. Proctor, 135, 464, 508, 551, 553; ad- 
ministration of, 552; political career of, 551 

Know Nothing (American) Party, 275 

LaFayette, 166 

Lafayette formation, 527 

Lake Erie, battle of, 215; naval victory of, 599 

Land deeded by Indians, 17 

Land Grants to Volunteers, 47 

' ' Land Lawyers, ' ' 144 

Land title litigation, 143 

Land titles uncertain, 143 

LaSalle, Chevalier Hubert de, 1; discovers Kentucky 

shores, 1 
Last American Lord Protector, 22 
Last appeal for Union, 313 
Last of America 's Lord Proprietors, 22 
Last of Burbridge and his rule, 370 
Last recorded sale of slaves, 378 
Last sale of slaves in Kentucky, ISO 
Last Victory for Whig Party, 275 
Last Whig President, 271 
Legislated out of office, 242 
Legislative department of Kentucky, 467 
Legislative relief, 234 
Legislature against judge, 234 
Legislature's impressive adjournment, 311 
Legislature rejects Thirteenth Amendment, 381 
Letter from Boone to Henderson, 19 
Letter from Chief Justice Muter, 109 
"Lexington Herald," 497 
Lexington, postoffiee at, 280 
Lexington resolutions, 167 
Lexington Society, 130 
Lexington State University, 401 
Libraries, free, 449 
Life of the Mountaineer, 499 
Lignitic Series, 528 
Lincoln county. 135 

Lincoln, birthplace of, 309; emancipation proclama- 
tion, 335, 376 ; Memorial Over Original Cabin, 377 ; 

nominated. 291; Piatt on, 183 
Liucoln-Buckner-Crittenden Conference, 315 
List of killed at Blue Lick, 77 
Litigation over land titles, 143 
Little Carpenter, 19 
Local and special legislation, 470 
Logan, Col. Benjamin, 43, 76, 87, 99; bravery and 

wisdom of, 43 
Logan county, 135 
Logan Female College, 443 

Logan's Fort, 24, 40, 42, 44; siege of, 44 

Logan on the Blue Lick affair, 76 

Logan, Emmett G., 557, 566; barbecue on farm of, 

' ' Long Hunters, ' ' 14 

Lord Dnnmore peace treaty, 16 

Louisiana Purchase, 190 

Louisiana Purchase frees the Mississippi, 190 

Louisville, 48; Confederate Monument at, 347; city 
hall, 231; court house, 464; custom house and 
post office, 91; first log cabin, 47; tirst paper in, 
556 ^^-st settlers of, 65; "Eeign of Terror" in, 
276; site of surveyed, 15 

' ' Louisville-Bowling Green-Nashville Courier, ' ' 560 

' ' Louisville Correspondent, ' ' 556 

' ' Louisville Democrat, ' ' 558 

' ' Louisville Herald, "569 

"Louisville Journal," 557, 559, 568 

Louisville Legion, 263 

Louisville Medical College, 572 

"Louisville Medical Monthly," 573 

' ' Louisville Medical News, ' ' 573 

' ' Louisville Monthly Journal of Medicine & Sur- 
gery," 573 

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Semiuarv. 412, 

"Louisville Times," 557, 567, 569 

Loretto Academy, 443 

Lower Carboniferous Area, 522 

Lower Mississippi Loess, 527 

Mad Anthony moves against Indians, 126 

Madison, Major George, 232 

Madison and Slaughter administrations, 232 

Madison county, 135 

Magoffin, Governor, 315 

Magoffin succeeded by Robinson, 337 

Making of Jackson, 248 

Mammoth Cave, Entrance to, 432 

Many attempts at separate government, 106 

Market prices in 1792, 123 

Marriage, first in Kentucky, 42 

Marriage of slaves, 182 

Marshall, Chief Justice, 164 

Marshall, Humphrey, 141, 317 

Mason county, 135 

Masonic Temple, Maysville. 255 

Massacre at Kincheloe's Station, 74 

"Mathews' Medical Quarterly," 573 

Maysville & Lexington Turnpike Company, 252 

McChord, Rev. John, 409 

McClellan, George B., 314 

McClelland 's Fort, 37 

McCreerv, Thomas C, 398 

McDowell, Dr. Ephraim, 573 

McDowell Monument. 575 

"McDowell Park," 574 

Medical College of Transylvania, 571 

Medical Department University of Louisville, 572 

Medical History of Kentucky, 571 

Mercer county, 135 

.Meriwether, David, 281 

Meriwether. Clay's Successor, 281 

Meteoric Morgan, 332 

Jlethcdist Episcopal Church, 454 

Methodist Pioneers of the Word, 455 



Message of Governor MagofBu, 337 

"Messenger," 569 

Mexican War, 259 

Middlesborough, Birdseye View of, 286; Oldest 
House in, 284 

Militia, the, 487 

MiUtary interference, 336, 392 

Military Monument, Frankfort Cemetery, 267 

Military titles, 47 

Millersburg Female College, 444 

Mills, Benjamin, Judge, 237, 245 

Mines and countermines, 60 

Mississippian (Lower Carboniferous), 531 

Mississippi Territory, 191 

Mississippi Biver turned and lake formed, 198 

Missouri, governors of, from Kentucky, 516 

Misunderstood Henry 's character, 31 

Mode of revision, 490 

Modern journalism in Kentucky, 559 

Mohawkian Group, 533 

Monroe, James, 190 

Morgan, Maj.-Geu. John H., 318, 333, 332; "Christ- 
mas Eaid of" 350; and his cavalry, 339; me- 
teoric, 332; men captured, 361; men reunited, 
361; "Takes the Bit," 359 

Mormons, military expeditions against, 282 

"Mother of the Orphan Brigade," 350 

"Mother of States," 86 

"Mothers of Kentucky," 98 

Mountaineer. Eeal Kentucky, 498 

Mounted Rifles, 590 

Munf.)rdsville, Surrender of, 341 

Municipalities, 480 

Murder of Goebel, aftermath of, 514 

Murray. Wm., 231 

Murray Invents ' ' Bessemer ' ' steel, 231 

Muter. George, 109 

"My Old Kentucky Home," 65 

Napoleon, 190 

"Nashville Banner," 564 

Nashville open to attack, 330 

Natural Bridge, 132 

Nature defeats Harrison 's plans, 205 

Naval battle of ISOO, 168 

Naval victory of Lake Erie, 599 

Nazareth Academy, 443 

Negroes as Freemen, 170 

Negro system of communication, 183 

Negro testimony legalized, 399 

Nelson county. 135 

New constitutional convention, 166 

New Constitution on ' ' Free Negroes, ' ' 178 

New Court partv, 237, 242, 244 

New Orleans, Battle of, 225 

New Orleans project abandoned, 134 

New Orleans seat of war, 219 

"New Era," 562 

"News," 569 

"News-Democrat," 569 

' ' News-.Tournal, ' ' 567 

New President, Judge Barker. 403 

Niagaran Group. 532 

"Night Eiders," 506 

Ninth convention, 120 

Non-Partisan Resolutions to Buckner, 547 

No jieace for Kentucky, 75 

Normal School appropriations, 437 

Normal Schools, establishment of, 431 

Northwestern Indian confederation, 68 

Noted Kentuekians of Ohio, 518 

Not Fighting for Slavery, 183 

Nullification clause, 163 

Nullification not in Kentucky resolutions, 158 

Objection. to Debt clause, 120 

Obnoxious laws, repeal of, 188 

Obnoxious war acts repealed, 395 

Occasional Indian excursions, 128 

Ogden, Maj. Robert TV., 443 

Ogden College, 443 

Offers rejected too tamely, 137 

Office and operating room of Dr. McDowell, 574 

Officers for districts and counties, 473 

Officers for the state at large, 471 

Of vesterdav vet of today, 90 

O'Hara, Theodore, 596 

Ohio Black Shale Beds, 532 

Ohio Canal Company, 254 

Ohio Company, 2 

Ohio River, 521 

Oiled Kentucky Turnpike. 199 

Old Court Party, 242 

Old Court Partv Wins, 244 

"Old Field" or District schools, 406 

Old Fort Boonesborough, 6 

Old Fort, Reservoir Park, Bowling Green, 434 

"Old Kentucky Home," 596 

"Old Rough and Ready," 271 

Oldest college in Kentucky, 409 

Oldest house in Middlesborough, 284 

Oldest medical school in Kentucky, 417 

Old-time address to Virginia, 115 

Oldtown, 28 

One hundred nineteen counties in state, 135 

On the captor's trail, 41 

Opinions, some notable by Justice Harlan, 540 

Opposition appeal to Virginia, 31 

Opposition to Transylvania Company, 26 

Opposition to Transylvania Scheme, 34 

Ordinance of Constitution. 492 

Ordovician Lower Silurian. 533 

Origin of Kentucky Resolutions, 147 

Origin of the name of Kentucky, 4 

Origin of the name Quisenberry. 587 

Original Settlers of Central Kentucky, 585 

"Orphan Brigade," 317, 347; brigade at Murfrees- 

boro, 349 
Other Indian attacks, 84 
Other educational forces, 442 
Other state legislatures respond, 159 
Ouchterlouy, Dr. John Arvid, 581 
Outrages of "Night Riders." 506 
Outrages on American shipping, 167 
Owen, Colonel Abraham, 197 
Owensboro Female College. 445 
Owsley, William, Judge, 236, 245 

Palmer, Dr. Edward Rush. 581 
Palmer, Gen. John M., 394 
Panic of 1857, 2S3 
Party Leaders, 239 


Pasturage land of Kentucky, 52-1 

Patriots in Power, 203 

' ' Patter-rollers, " 182 

Patterson, James K., 400 

Pawling Chair, 438 

Peace Conference, 301 

Peace of Paris, 5 

Peace with Napoleon 's coming, 16S 

Pen picture of General Wilkinson, 95 

Penn, Shadrach, 557 

Pennsylvanian (Up. Carboniferous), 528 

Period of needed recuperation, 135 

Perry, Commodore Oliver Hazard, 206, 598 

Perryville, Battle of, 344 

Peter, Dr. Eobert, 576 

Petitioning Virginia for Statehood, S9 

"Philanthropist," 173 

Physical Kentucky in Boone 's time, 8 

Physicians of Kentucky, 571 

Piiie Monntain, 521, 525, 529 

Pioneer Kentucky bank, 188 

Pioneers of Harrodsburg, 24 

Plea for admission, another Kentucky, 105 

Point Pleasant, battle of, 22 

Police Courts, 478 

Political conditions in state during war's closing 

days, 395 
Political Parties of 1860, 289 
Polk. Bishop Leonidas, 564 
Population of Kentucky in 1790, 120 
Population of Kentucky, 601 
Postoffice, Louisville, 91 
Postofiice at Lexington, 280 
Prentice, Courtland, 180 
Prentice, George D., 557 
Presbytery of Transylvania, 456 

Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Louisville, 412 
Presbyterianism founded, 455 
Presidential contest of 1800, 186 
Presidential proclamation, 132 
Preservation of forests, 450 
Press of Kentucky, 555 
Preston, William. 270 
Prior to the 1890-1 Convention, 463 
Prize rural model school, 449 
Problematic journey down the Mississippi, 13 
Problems of Eelief Party, 240 
Proclamation, 132 
Proctcu''s savagery. 209 
Proposed capture of New Orleans, 133 
Protecting army supplies, 206 
Protest against centralized government, 156 
"Proudest day of his life," 84 
Provisional government established, 325 
Provisional Governor of Kentucky, 318 
"Public Advertiser," 556 
Public lotteries legalized, 200 
Public roads, 252 
Punishment of slave kidnapers, 174 

Quarterly Courts, 477 
Quaternary Period, 527 
Qnisenberiy, A. C. 376, 583 

Railroads and Commerce, 485 

Raih-oad, firpt constructed in the United States, 254 

Raise siege of Logan's Fort, 44 

Rapids of the OMo, 1 

Real Kentucky Mountaineer, 498 

Reasons for postponement of separation, 106 

Reassembling of 1861 Legislature, 311 

Rebel and Union Guerrillas, 367 

Redress from injustice, 144 

Reel Foot Lake, 198, 523 

Regal men and women, 501 

Regular army, 589 

Relief of Fort Wayne, 205 

Reign of judicial chaos, 243 

Relief Party, 237 

Relief Party and leaders, 239 

Relief Party wins election, 241 

Relief parties, 239 

Remarkable New Orleans victory, 228 

Repeal of the Internal Revenue taxation, 188 

Repeal of obnoxious laws, 188 

Republican becomes Democratic party, 191 

Report of committee on State Normal Schools, 436 

Rescue of three Kentucky daughtei-s, 41 

Resolutions of 1798 adopted without amendment, 159 

Resolution on needed school legislation, 435 

Resolutions, similar, adopted by Virginia, 160 

Retreat from Missionary Ridge, 364 

Return to deserted camp, Boone's, 9 

Returns to the Falls of the Ohio, Clark, 55 

Revenue and Taxation, 482 

Revolution proposed, 112 

Ripley Series. 528 

River Raisin, Battle of, 207 

River Systems. 523 

Roark, Ruric N., 437 

"Rock of Chickamauga, " 355 

Rogers, Dr. Coleman, 575 

Rogers, Dr. Louis, 576 

Rowan. John, 239 

"Royal Spring," 438 

Rumsey, James. 230 

Rumsey's invention, 230, 231 

Rural Schools, improvement of, 449 

Saeritice for others, 56 

Sad and terrible war reckoning, 389 

Salem Baptist Association, 453 

Saltville, attack on. 374 

Sayre Female Institute. 444 

Scene of Floyd's disaster, Civil war battleground, 85 

Schedule of Constitution, 491 

Schools, early country, 407 

School suffrage for women, 450 

Schools, "Old Field" or District, 406 

Science Hill School, 442 

Scott county, 135 

Sebastian under suspicion. 138 

Second assembly of Kentucky, 88 

Second Dragoons, 590 

See of Louisville. 462 

Selling value of slaves, 183 

Senator Marshall, 141 

Settlement of Kentucky, 81 

Seven counties in Kentucky in 1787, 97 

Seventh state in population, 197 

Seventh Convention meets. 111 

Severn's Valley Baptist church. 453 


Shaler on KeDtncky during Civil War, 371 
."Miarp-Beauchamji tragedy, 244 
Shelby county, 135 

Shelby, Isaac, Cxov., 121, 142, 200, 211 409- 
governor, 200; takes the field, 214 ' ' 

bhelbyville Carnegie Library, 449 
Sherman's "Crazy" estimate, 327 
Shortest legislative session 199 
Short convention, a, 166 ' 

Siefp nl T^°"''«f "I.ough, 60; siege raised, 61 

feiege ot Logan 's Fort, 44 

Silurian, 532 

Simpson's Creek church, 453 

Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. 443 

sisters of Loretto, 443, 463 

Sisters of Nazareth, 462 

Site of IVankfort surveyed, 15 

Site of Louisville surveyed, 15 

Sixth convention, 105 

Slaughter, Gabriel, 232 

^'f^'l' "^oTP' ^^"""P"' ^''^' last sale of in 

tueky, 180; marriage of 189 
Slavery in Kentucky, 169 
Slavery meetings, 176 
Slow communication, days of 186 
Smith, Gen. Green Clay', 339' 
Smith, Kirby, 358 
Spain again checkmated, 136 
Spain's tempting offer. 117 
Spalding, Bishop Martin J., 462 

'Spanish Conspiracy," 140, 192 
Spanish conspiracy "analyzed, 138 
Spanish designs averted, 102 
Spanish Siren sings to Brown, 107 
Speed, Dr. John James, 577 
Speed, Mrs. Fannie, 443 
Splendid Kentucky private, the 387 
Squire Boone, 10, 45" ' 

ioif-The' 521°°' "' *'^ Cincinnati," 583 

Some attempted slave escapes, 176 

Some leading Confederate soldiers, 317 

home leading Union soldiers, 319 

South Kentucky College, 440 

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 420 
Southern Bivouac," extracts from, 346 

Southern Normal, 434 

Southern sympathizers, arrest of 390 

Sovereignty Convention, 324 

St. Asaph, 24 

St. Boniface, 462 

St. Joseph's Cathedral, 461 

St. Joseph's College. 462 

Ste. Genevieve Group, 531 

St. Louis church, 462 

St. Louis Limestone Group, 531 

St. Mary's College, 462 

St. Thomas church at Bardstown, 461 

Stanford Female College, 445 

State aid to public works, 199 

State College, 402, 406 

State Farmer's Institute, 493 

State Library Commission, 448 

tl'^l'' 1{ ™n'litions and events in 1789, 105 

btate Medical Association, 572 

State Pike, 252 




State revenue revision committee, 493 
States Rights, doctrine of, 158 
States Eights Party, 248 
State University, 400, 401, 406 
State University, estabUshment of, 436 ' 
Statistics of coal mining, 530 
Stevenson, Governor John W. 398 
Stevenson succeeds McCreery 398 
Stewart, John, 9 

^'ffiver,' s"^""' ^""^ ^"""^ P""'''^ t° ti'e Louisa 
Successful invasion of enemy's country, 67 
Suffrage and elections 478 
Sufferings of Freed Negroes, 38-:' 

Supreme Court, Kentuckian in U S 535 
Supreme Court, constitution's guardian, 164 
Surplus of Courts, 188 
Surprising message to the French, 51 
Surrender of Colonel Wilder 339 
Surrender of Fort Donelson,' 330 
Surrender of MunfordsviUe, 341 
Surveyors sent out, 14 
Sympathy with Texas, 259 
Sympathizers arrested, 322 

Taylor family of Virginia, 143 

Taylor, Gen. James, 203 

Taylor, Gen. Zaehary, 206, 260, 261, 271 ; opens Mex- 

Ta;:iTr,^"s.f1f0°'''='^"^ ''''^''' ^^^^^^^ 

Taylor's election, 510 

Taxation prevents practical development 497 

iaxation revision committee, 493 

Taxing system, injurious, 493 

'^'"li ^^^' ''" ^^""*'' °^' -1''- ^t°P« '"'^^sa- 

'^ UK-iv^'siJ"^''' """^ ^'''^''^^ goyernors from Ken- 
Term '"'rebel," 323 

Territorial governors from Kentucky, 519 
tertiary Period, 528 

'^Tueky^Sir''*'' """^ Virginia governors from Ken- 
Text of adopted resolutions, 153 
Text of 1799 resolutions, 162 
Text of Jefferson resolutions, 148 
Thatcher, Maurice K., 520 
The Constitution of 1849, 273 
"The Old Lion of Whitehall " 17i 
"The Purchase," 233 ' 

Third Dragoons, 590 
Thirty thousand in Kentucky, 96 
Thomas, General, 3.55 
Threatened War with Great Britain, 196 
three Kentucky regiments present at Buena Vista 
_o4 ' 

Tliree Representative Kentuckians, 535 

"Times- Journal. " 569 

Tinsley, Thomas, pioneer preacher, 452 

"Tissue Ballots," 511 

Tobacco Farm. 505 

Tobacco Trust, 505 

Tobacco trusts and growers, 503 

Todd on the Blue Lick disaster, 77 

Topography of Kentucky, 521 



Total output of all factories iu Kentucky, 495 

Toulmin, Harry, 426 

Transylvania, 27, 30 

Transylvania dies, 35 

Transylvania Company, 17, 26, 28, 31 

Transylvania Land Company, 571 

Transylvania refused recognition, SO 

Transylvania University, 406, 425, 571 

Transylvania University consolidated with Kentucky 

University, 428 
Transylvania University, hundredth anniversary of, 

Traveling Libraries in the Mountains, 448 
Treaty, between United States and Prance, 168; of 

Ghent, 229; of Greenville, 128; with Indians, 16 
Triple layer of adverse claims, 143 
Troublous times in tobacco district, 506 
Trueman, Major, 125 
"True American," 174 
Ti-ue pioneers rejoice, 38 
Turning back the faint-hearts, 22 
Turnpikes, 252 

"Underground Railway," 181 

Underground water channels, 523 

Union College, 443 

Union loss in Civil War, 357 

Unionists carry Congressional elections, 315 

United States' Bank, 195 

Unlawfully deprived of liberty, 155 

University of Louisville, 417 

Unsavory "Music Hall Convention," 509 

Victory of General Wayne, 128 

Vincennes capitulates, 54 

Virginia Ancestors, 585 

Virginia adopts new measure, 99 

Virginia alone adopted similar resolutions, 160 

Virginia assents to separation, 96 

Virginia's gift to the Union, 86 

Virginia Peace Conference supported by Kentucky, 

Virginia, Texas and Tennessee governors from Ken- 
tucky, 518 

Voltigeur Eegiment, 591 

Volunteer Army field staff, 592 

Volunteer Eegiments in Mexican War, 592 

Voting 2,000 acres to Boone, 29 

Walker, Dr. Thomas, 2, 575 
Walker narrative, 19 

"Walnut Cliff Farm," 568 

War vs. Exploration, 5 

War of 1812, 196, 211, 229 

Ward, William T., 270 

Warner, Dr. George M., 581 

Washington county, 135 

Washington, Gen. George, 3, 97, 142; again com- 
mander-in-chief, 168 ; neutrality proclamation, 130 

Watterson, Henry, 562, 563 

Wayne, Gen. Anthony, 126, 132; gives British oflS- 
eer light, 127 

' ' Western American, ' ' 556 

Western Baptist Theological Institute, 420 

Western Coalfield, 522, 526, 529 

' ' Western Courier, ' ' 556 

' ' Western Journal of Medicine, ' ' 572 

Western Kentucky Asylum for the Insane, 447 

Western Governors from Kentucky, 518 

West Virginia, 87 

Whalen, Father Charles, 458 

Whig Party, death of, 249 

White men penetrate the interior, 2 

WicklifPe, Charles A., 257 

Wickliffe, J. Crepps, 257 

Wiekliffe, ilobert, 257 

Wildcat banks, 250 

Wilder, Colonel, surrender of, 339 

Wilkinson, Gen. James, 92, 95, 101, 104, 117; and 
a free Mississippi, 114; designs of. 111; founds 
tobacco trade, 105; the discord sower, 101; stum- 
bling block of, 103 

Williams, Colonel John S., 270, 317 

Williams, "Cerro Gordo," 269 

Winchester. General, 205 

Winter of 1779, 66 

Wolford, Col. F)-ank, 302, 379 

Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 447 

Woman's Christian Temperance Union Settlement 
School, 448 

Women's Clubs, Kentucky Federation of, 448 
Women 'of Bryan Station, 446 
Woodford county, 135 
Word "Transylvania," 425 

Yandell, Dr. David Wendell, 577 

Yandell, Dr. Lunsford P., Sr., 581 

Yandell, Dr. Lunsford Pitts, 580 

' ' Yankee ' ' school teachers, 407 

Years preceding the Civil War, 290 

Young Kentucky, famous resolutions of, 145 

History of 


Kentucky and Kentuckians 


La Salle Discovers Kentucky Shores — "Rapids" of the Ohio — Capt. Batts "Trac- 
ing A Pathway" — Through Cumberland Gap — Penetrating the Interior — First 
Kentucky Dwellixc — Gist and the Ohio Company — Dinwiddie Halts the 

French — Washington on the Scene — Indians' "Happy Hunting Ground" 

Origin of the Name, Kentucky. 

The dominant desire of the Anglo-Saxon 
has been from immemorial time the acquisi- 
tion of land and following the "Star of Em- 
pire," his course has been ever to the west- 
ward. Not the Anglo-Saxon alone has felt 
this impulse, but the men of all civilized lands, 
though the former has been most persistent 
and therefore, most fortunate. 

When Kentucky was an unknown land, men 
of the old world were discussing and some of 
them were seeking a waterway from the At- 
lantic to the Pacific which they imagined lay 
across what we now know to be the wide 
prairies and lofty mountains of our western 
domain. The search for a western passage 
to the Pacific and all that lay beyond, led the 
Chevalier Robert de La Salle, an adventurous 
Frenchman, to lead an expedition westward 
and so far as records exist, he was the first 
white man to pass down the Ohio river which 
he entered from the Allegheny. He is be- 
lieved to have been the first man of the white 
race to see the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville. 
Col. Reuben T. Durrett, whose very name 
spells Kentucky history, and to whom the 

slate owes more than to all other of her sons, 
the collecting and preserving of the records of 
her beginning and her progress, says of 
La .Salle in the "Centenary of Kentucky:" 
"In making the long journey he was the dis- 
coverer of Kentucky from the Big Sandy to 
the Rapids of the Ohio, and was the first 
white man whose eyes looked eastward from 
the beautiful river to the Blue Grass land, 
which forms the Garden Spot of the state." 

It will be noted that Col. Durrett writes of 
the "Rapids of the Ohio," rather than of the 
more commonly accepted term "The Falls of 
the Ohio," thus even in minor matters evinc- 
ing the devotion to exact description that has 
characterized his historical researches and 
statements. The term "falls" denotes a condi- 
tion that is not fairly descriptive of the inter- 
ruption to the steady flow of the Ohio at 
Louisville, while the word "rapids" is not only 
exact but strictly correct. The "Falls of the 
Ohio" have, however, been so long accepted, 
and Louisville so widely known as the "Falls 
City,' that it were vain to seek a change in 
phraseology. Even the more modern and 


strictly correct term of "Gateway to the 
South' bestowed by former President Roose- 
velt, has not served to displace the ancient 
designation hallowed by long usage. Whether 
one acce]!*' the old or the new designation, 
none can' o-'eny that as falls or rapids the set- 
tlement thereabout played a leading part in 
the drama which culminated in the winning of 
the west and giving to the Union an imperial 
domain which at times, it seemed had been 
destined to become either French or English 

There is a tradition that Capt. Thomas 
Batts was once sent from Virginia by General 
Abram \^'ood to search for the supposed river 
which flowed to the Pacific, but it is not 
known that he reached Kentucky. McElroy 
in the latest historical sketch of Kentucky, 
gives Batts credit for "at least tracing the 
pathway from the old settlements of A'irginia 
to the trackless wilderness beyond the moun- 
tains." This would seem to have brought him 
very near to Kentucky, if not within its boun- 
dary ; but no practical results from his explo- 
ration beyond "tracing a pathway" are ap- 
parent in the history of that early day. 

The first organized effort to locate lands in 
Kentucky was probably made by a company 
led by Dr. Thomas Walker, who in March, 
1750, left their homes in Virginia and, reach- 
ing a pass in the Appalachian range of moun- 
tains, came into Kentucky, giving to the pass 
the name of Cumberland Gap, by which it has 
since been known and under which name it 
finds its place in the history of the War be- 
tween the States — having been variously oc- 
cupied by Federal and Confederate troops as 
one of the chief gateways between the warring 

Hitherto, adventurers into the unknown 
land of Kentucky had confined themselves to 
the vicinity of the Ohio river and Captain 
Walker and his associates were, so far as his- 
tory and tradition extend, the first white men 
to penetrate the interior of the new land. 

Those with Walker were, accorfling to one 
authority, Ambrose Powell, William Tomlin- 
son, Colby Chew, Henry Lawless and John 
Hughes; but Col. Durrett in the "Centenary 
of Kentucky" omits the names of Lawless 
and Hughes, adding that only the names of 
Powell, Chew and Tomlinson have been pre- 

With a strong predilection in favor of the 
correctness of all of Col. Durrett's state- 
ments, it is not vitally material in this instance 
that all the names of Walker's followers 
should be stated. It is indisputable that 
Walker was the leader, and that is the impor- 
tant fact. This party cleared a body of land 
near where the town of Barboursville in Knox 
county is now located, and built there a log 
cabin, the first dwelling for white men ever 
erected in what is now. Kentucky. The date 
of construction of this historic cabin was 
April 25, 1750. Five days afterward, the 
cabin appears to have been deserted, owing to 
fear of the Indians whose hunting parties 
swarmed in the wilderness about them. The 
party is believed to have immediately returned 
to Mrginia, without practical results follow- 
ing their visit other than having marked an 
epoch by having erected the first habitation 
for civilized man in what was later to become 
the populous state of Kentucky. 

Christopher Gist, another adventurous char- 
acter, as agent for the "Ohio Company," next 
led an expedition, the objective point of which 
was the territory which is now Ohio, setting 
out from the Potomac October 3, 1750. After 
scouting through the lands north of the Ohio 
river, he came finally to that stream which he 
descended to within fifteen miles of the pres- 
ent site of Louisville. Discovering there 
signs of large bodies of Indians, Gist turned 
back to the mouth of the Kentucky river. 
Under many difficulties Gist and his party 
continued their retreat and on May i. 1751. 
first came in sight of the beautiful Kanawha 
river plunging over rapids and through moun- 


tain gorges on its tempestuous way to the sea. 
Gist finally reached his home in safety after 
traversing the most beautiful section of the 
future Kentucky, which he found without in- 
habitants and temporarily peopled only by 
bands of Indians intent upon the chase and 
these, in the main, confined their operations to 
points near the Ohio river north of which 
stream they lived. 

Irving in his life of Washington says of 
Gist: "From the top of a mountain in eastern 
Kentucky near the Kentucky river, he had a 
view of the southward as far as the eye could 
reach over a vast wooded country in the fresh 
garniture of Spring and watered by abundant 
streams, but as yet only the hunting ground of 
savage tribes and the scene of their sanguin- 
ary conflicts. In a word, Kentucky lay spread 
out before him in all its wild magnificence. 
For six weeks was this hardy pioneer making 
his toilsome way up the valley of the Cuttawa 
or Kentucky river, to the banks of the Blue 
Stone ; often checked by precipices and 
obliged to seek fords at the head of tributary 
streams, and happy when he could find a buf- 
falo-path broken through the tangled forests 
or worn into the everlasting rocks." 

When Gist reported to the Ohio Company 
what he had seen it must have impressed them 
with the belief that fortune was in their grasp, 
and lay to the westward, as fortune has ever 
laid to the Anglo-Saxon. Robert Dinwiddle, 
one of the twenty stockholders of the Ohio 
Company and lieutenant governor of Virginia 
in 1752, impressed by the reports of Gist, de- 
veloped a strong interest in the movements 
of the French in the Ohio valley to all parts 
which they had asserted a claim, setting up 
tablets at the mouth of each river reached by 
them in support of these claims. 

A protest against such procedure by a for- 
eign power was an immediate necessity, and 
■there seems to have been a special Providence 
in the selection by Dinwiddle of a messenger 
to the French commander bearing a message 

of warning against further encroachments. 
He chose as this messenger a youthful Vir- 
ginian, one George Washington, a half-broth- 
er of Augustine Washington, president of the 
Ohio Company, and Lawrence Washington, 
one of its stockholders. That young Virgin- 
ian, piloted by Christopher Gist in this expedi- 
tion, took that first step which was to lead 
him ever forward and upward to the highest 
position in the affairs of men. It was the 
step which led to the French and Indian war, 
the greatest contest known to this western 
continent until the day when the War of the 
Revolution claimed Washington as its leader 
and under his splendid guidance, preclaimed 
"liberty throughout all the land and to all the 
inhabitants thereof." Some authorities claim 
that Washington came with Gist to Kentucky; 
but there seems no foundation for this claim, 
as it does not authoritatively appear that 
Washington came further west than the 
mouth of the Kanawha river in what is now 
West \irginia. 

Kentucky does not seem to have been the 
permanent home of the Indians, though often 
occupied by them on their hunting trips or 
warlike forays. It was their "happy hunting 
ground" and, on occasion, their battle ground, 
before the coming of the white man when 
they came in contact with their enemies of 
other tribes. North of the Ohio river were 
the powerful Iroquois, who claimed the ter 
ritory as their own. To the South were the 
Cherokees, who fewer in number, were equal- 
ly warlike, and who likewise claimed Ken- 
tucky as their own, with the result that when 
the hunting parties of these tribes met they 
became war parties anrl there ^vas some beau- 
tiful fighting all along the savage lines. Hav- 
ing thus to struggle for their prolific hunting 
grounds, it is not strange that the Indians 
should have bitterly resented the coming of 
the white man to possess the land and that his 
coming meant the writing of blood-red chap- 
ters in the history of the first occupancy of 


the state. The Indian knew the bountiful land 
to be worth fighting for, and used all his sav- 
age strategy to retain its possession. The 
white man found the land not alone worth 
fighting for, but, if need be, dying for, and 
set out to possess it and with his rifle filed a 
deed of possession with the result known to all 
the world — the Indian was overcome and 
driven towards the western sun, while the 
white man remained to make a garden spot 
where he had foimd a wilderness, albeit a 
beauteous and bountiful wilderness. 

There are several accounts given as to the 
origin of the name of Kentucky. John Filson 
says the Delaware and Shawnee Indians called 
the vast undefined tract of land south of the 
Ohio river "Kuttawa," meaning the "Great 
Wilderness." This name was long used in- 
terchangeably with "Kantake;" meaning "the 
place of meadows," or the "Hunting 
Grounds." Filson also referred to it as "The 
Middle Ground." McElroy, in "Kentucky in 
the Nation's History," says that another ori- 
gin of the name is given by John Johnson 
who for years resided among the Shawnees. 
He declares that Kentucky is a Shawnee word 
meaning "at the head of the river." Marshall, 
however, declares that the name was derived 
from "a deep channeled and clifty river called 
by the Indians Ken-tuck-kee," which they 
pronounced with a strong emphasis. He adds 

that in consequence of frequent combats be- 
tween the savages upon Kentucky soil — the 
country being thickly wooded and deeply 
shaded — was also called in their expressive 
language "The Dark and Bloody Ground." 
There is doubtless something that in other 
matters would be called poetic license in this 
statement of J\Iarshall — more of license than 
historic accuracy, perhaps, but the expression 
has taken so firm a hold upon the public mind 
that it cannot be broken. Whatever the ac- 
tual facts relative to the derivation of the 
name may be, the state has passed into history 
and song as "The Dark and Bloody Ground," 
and there it will remain, protest as one may. 
To all good citizens of the state it is a matter 
for the deepest regret, that in recent years 
in a few sections of the State there have been 
such occurrences brought about by lawless and 
misguided men, as have seemed to justify the 
term as not only truly descriptive but just. 
It is a gratifying reflection that the confines 
of a prison and the narrower confines of cer- 
tain graves render it improbable that further 
acts of the kind referred to will again darken 
the history of the state. The fires of a more 
complete civilization light the darkness of the 
land of the feud and where the minister of 
God and the schoolmaster carry their banners, 
murder will find none to excuse it. 


War vs. Exploration — Debt to Sir William Johnson — Boone, Savior of Kentucky 
— "Numerously" Born — Boone's Early Life — Boone and Party Enters Kentucky. 

It is not the purpose of this history to fol- 
low the failures or the successes of the French 
and Indian war. While it had its effect upon 
Kentucky, there were other events of the same 
era that bore more particularly upon the des- 
tiny of the territory which was later to be 
known as Kentucky. In 1763 the Peace of 
Paris ended the tremendous contests between 
England and France for the possession of 
Canada and the Ohio valley, with the result 
that the cross of St. George waved over the 
hitherto disputed territory undisturbed and 
with none to dispute the sovereignty of Eng- 

During the pendency of the war but little 
had been done in the matter of exploration 
in Kentucky and there are no absolutely ac- 
curate data covering that period. In the midst 
of wars the laws are silent and it seems to be 
true of this period that exploration ceased, 
though there are apochr}'phal claims made of 
certain expeditions of which no conclusive rec- 
ords have been found. It is probably true 
that adventurous parties came and went in 
those perilous days, as no sense of danger has 
ever been strong enough to destroy in the 
Anglo-Saxon his desire to spy out the land 
and appropriate to himself that part of it 
which, to him, seemed good. But that this 
was done is mere harmless conjecture. There 
is no record of the doings of the fearless ad- 
venturer in those days. 

At the close of the war in 1763, King 
George the Third, whom the American col- 

onies were to more intimately know and de- 
test a short twelve years later, issued a proc- 
lamation which had it not been ignored in 
large part, would have left Kentucky for 
years as the mere hunting ground of the sav- 
age, and closed its teeming fields and forests 
to the enterprise of the sturdy pioneers, who 
daring all dangers, had taken their lives in 
their hands and pressed forward into the wil- 
derness to make homes for themselves and 
theirs, and to make straight the ways for 
those who were to come later into the new 
land which so generously invited them. 

King George, in this proclamation, declared 
that the British possessions west of the Alle- 
gheny mountains and south of Canada should 
be set apart as an Indian reservation, into 
which white settlers should not enter. The 
line of demarcation between the white and 
Indian territories was ordered marked, the 
commissioners for this work being Sir Wil- 
liam Johnson, agent for the northern district, 
and John Stuart, for the southern colonies. 
This Sir William Johnson was later to become 
an important factor in the affairs of the Mo- 
hawk Valley and to play a great and danger- 
ous part with the Indians, in the War of the 
Revolution, then but a few short years re- 
moved in point of time. But Kentucky owes a 
debt to Sir William Johnson, despite his fu- 
ture actions in favor of the British crown. 
McElroy says of his action in running this 
line: "Johnson, deliberately neglecting his in- 
structions, ran his part of the line down the 



Ohio river to the mouth of the Tennessee, thus 
leaving east of the Hne of demarcation, almost 
all of what is now Kentucky and exempting it 
from the restrictions which the proclamation 
imposed upon the reserved district. Thus 
Kentucky was thrown open to white explorers 
and settlers, while the other regions west of 
the AUeghenies were closed by royal decree. 

from its original savage holders who fought 
so strongly to retain its possession. 

What ever others may have done earlier 
and during the strenuous after days when 
Boone was struggling for possession of the 
fair land, he was the real hero, ''the voice of 
one crying in the wilderness," who gave Ken- 
tucky to the white man and whose place in 

and to this fact it is due, in no small degree, 
that she became the pioneer colony of the 
West; for in the valley of the Yadkin, in 
North Carolina, the prince of pioneers was 
waiting to head the host who were waiting to 
invade the 'Dark and Bloody Ground' and to 
make it an inhabited land." 

Daniel Boone now appears on the great 
canvass upon which is depicted the early strug- 
gles which made Kentucky a bright jewel in 
the crown of the states which form the Amer- 
ican Union. There had been, as has been 
shown, adventurous spirits who came into 
Kentucky before Boone, some of whom were 
later to join him in the conquest of the land 

song and story of the new land none may take. 
Kentucky and Daniel Boone are synonymous 
terms in history, though he left the new land 
early in its history for Virginia and later, find- 
ing his holdings too much encroached upon 
there, with the spirit of the true pioneer, lie 
journeyed to the westward in search of elbow 
room, and finally laid down the burden of his 
years in Missouri. Later Kentucky, mindful 
of its debt to the brave old pioneer, brought 
back his remains and those of his patient old 
wife and side by side they sleep in the State 
Cemetery at Frankfort, an appropriate and 
modest monument marking their last resting 


Daniel Boone appears to have been born 
very numerously and over a large stretch of 
territory. As a matter of fact, his exact birth- 
place and the date of his birth cannot be defi- 
nitely stated. Those who wrote nearest to the 
era in which he flourished and who would 
therefore be supposed to be most correct in 
their statements, differ widely as to time and 
place. Bogart says he was born Feb. ii, 
1735; Collins, Feb. 11, 1731 ; Marshall, about 
1746; McClung says he was born in Virginia; 
Marshall says in Maryland, while Nile goes 
far away from all these and declares that 
Daniel Boone was born in Bridgeworth, 
Somersetshire, England — a statement which, if 
made in his presence, would doubtless have 
brought a frown to the face of the grim old 
pioneer. Peck says Boone was born in Bucks 
county, Pennsylvania, and this is commonly 
accepted as correct, though upon what facts 
the hypothesis is founded is not stated. Bo- 
gart says: "Near Bristol, on the right bank 
of the Delaware about twenty miles from 
Philadelphia." While it would be interesting 
to know the exact date and place of his birth, 
it is yet sufficient to know of the brave deeds 
of his after life and the splendid part which 
he played in freeing Kentucky of the savage 
and opening to civilization and freedom one of 
the fairest spots upon the western hemisphere. 

It is definitely known that Boone's father, 
wherever may have been his former home, re- 
moved to North Carolina settling in a valley 
south of the Yadkin river, where it is pre- 
sumed that the young Boone grew to manhood. 
It is also fair to assume from his subsequent 
career that Daniel was not to be depended 
upon as a farmer, and was no great help to 
his father or family in the care of the crops 
upon which, and the results of the chase, their 
subsistence depended. A party of hunters 
from Boone's vicinity who had penetrated the 
then unknown wilds of Kentucky, returned 
witli such thrilling stories of their experiences 
that the fires of the pioneer were lighted in 

Boone's breast, which were destined never to 
burn out until he laid down the burden of life 
in the wilds of Missouri. 

Filson in his own language, far different 
from that of the pioneer, says that Boone gave 
to him in his old age this account of his first 
coming to Kentucky : 

"It was the first of May, 1769, that I re- 
signed my domestic happiness for a time and 
left my family and peaceable habitation on the 
Yadkin River, in North Carolina, to wander 
through the wilderness of North America in 
quest of the country of Kentucky." 

Colonel Durrett, that inimitable student of 
history, remarks on this with a sort of grim 
humor "that for a pretended farmer to start 
to the wilderness on a hunting expedition just 
at corn-planting season, is a suspicious cir- 
cumstance, and leads one to suppose that 
Daniel was not overfond of the hoe." This 
is probably true. Daniel Boone's place in his- 
torv is that of a pioneer, a hunter and a fighter 
in all of which stations he played his manly 
part. It was well for Kentucky and its early 
settlers that Daniel Boone was not fond of the 

Boone's party on this, his first expedition 
into Kentucky, consisted with himself, of 
John Findlay, who had been one of the hunt- 
ing party whose wondrous stories had fired 
Boone's imagination; John Stewart, Joseph 
Holden, James Mooney and William Cool. 
Thev had" a desire far beyond that of the de- 
lights of the chase, for they were uncon- 
sciously following the manifest destiny of the 
race from which they sprang and were search- 
ing out a fair land which they might possess 
and claim as their own. 

Peck, in his biography of Boone, thus from 
a fervent imagination describes him at the head 
of his little band of adventurers : "The leader 
of the party was of full size with a hardy, ro- 
bust, sinewy frame, and keen, piercing hazel 
eyes that glanced with quickness at every ob- 
ject as they passed on ; now cast forward in 


the direction they were traveling for signs of 
an old trail, and, in the next moment, directed 
askance into the dense thicket or into the deep 
ravine as if watching some concealed enemy. 
The reader will recognize the pioneer Boone 
at the head of his companions. Towards the 
time of the setting of the sun, the party had 
reached the summit of the mountain range up 

All of this is very beautiful and not alto- 
gether a figment of fancy, because it is fairly 
descriptive of the physical Kentucky of that 
and the present day, but Daniel Boone less 
poetically described the event to John Filson 
in these terms : "We proceeded successfully, 
after a long and fatiguing journey, through a 
mountainous wilderness, in a westward direc- 

D.i^NiEL Boone's Cabin on Kentucky River 

which they had toiled for some three or four 
hours and which had bounded their progress 
to the west during the day. Here new and 
indescribable scenery opened to their view. 
Before them, for an immense distance, as if 
spread out on a map, lay the rich and beautiful 
vales watered by the Kentucky river; far in 
the vista was seen a beautiful expanse of level 
country over which the buffalo, deer and other 
forest animals roamed unmolested." 

tion ; on the seventh day of June following, 
we found ourselves on the Red river and from 
the top of an eminence saw with pleasure the 
beautiful level of Kentucky." 

It will be observed with a degree of pleasure 
by present-da)' Kentuckians, that even the 
stern old pioneer found beauty in Kentucky 
on his first view of the new land he had come 
out to redeem from the savages who claimed 
it as their own. 


Boone and Stewart Go Forth — Captured by Indians — Return to Deserted Camp- — 
Joined by Boone's Brother — A Great Agent of Destiny — Alone in the Wilder- 
ness — Rejoined by Faithful Brother — "Happiest of Mortals Anywhere." 

Throughout the summer and into the fall, the 
little party loitered in the fairy land, now 
hunting, now "loafing and inviting their 
souls," leaving to those whom they had left 
behind in North Carolina the less con- 
genial and burdensome task of planting, 
hoeing and reaping the crops. They were 
care-free, game was abundant, their wants 
were few and easily supplied; they were free 
to go and come as they chose and so far, 
there had been none to disturb or make them 

At last came the day of separation and, for 
wider exploration and convenience in hunting, 
Boone and John Stewart left the main party 
and proceeded to the Louisa river. Here John 
Filson takes up the story in the biography of 
Boone and himself grows poetical though one 
would think that recitals of the grim events 
of Kentucky's early days had but little of 
poetry about them. Filson makes Boone say: 
"We practiced hunting with great success until 
the twenty-second day of December. This 
day John Stewart and I had a pleasing ramble, 
but fortune changed the scene in the close of 
it. We had passed through a great forest on 
which stood myriads of trees, some gay with 
blossoms, others rich with fruit. Nature was 
here a series of wonders and a fund of de- 
light. Here she displayed her ingenuity and 
industry in a variety of flowers and fruits, 
beautifully colored, elegantly shaped and 
charmingly flavored; and we were diverted 

with innumerable animals presenting them- 
selves perpetually to our view." 

Fancy Daniel Boone of the Yadkin river, in 
North Carolina — sometime hunter, trapper, 
surveyor and Indian fighter — rhapsodizing 
after that fashion. It is evident that Filson 
was something of a poet himself and that he 
adorned the plain language of Boone out of 
the exuberance of his own fancy. 

But there was to be a quick transition from 
the beauties of nature as exemplified in Ken- 
tucky, to the sterner realities which filled the 
lives of the pioneers of the state. Filson, 
quitting his study of the flora and fruits of the 
forests of Kentucky by a sharp transition, 
brings one to a realization of the sterner fea- 
tures of life in those same forests. In the fol- 
lowing statement he has Boone saying: "In a 
decline of a day near the Kentucky river, as 
we ascended the brow of a small hill, a num- 
ber of Indians rushed out of a thick canebrake 
upon us and made us prisoners. The time of 
our sorrow had now arrived and the scene was 
fully opened. The Indians plundered us of 
what we had and kept us in confinement seven 
days, treating us with common savage usage. 
At last, in the dead of night as we lay in a 
thick canebrake by a large fire, when sleep 
had locked up their senses, my situation not 
disposing me for rest," says Boone, "I touched 
my companion and gently awoke him. We 
improved this favorable opportunity and de- 
parted, leaving them to take their rest." 



Boone and Stewart then set out to the camp 
where they had left their comrades, which 
they reached after several days travel, only to 
find it plundered and deserted ; their compan- 
ions gone they knew not whither. It is pre- 
sumed, of course, that the plundering had been 
done by Indians, and their comrades mur- 
dered by them though this is conjecture only. 
Certain it is that their names no more appear 
in history. Boone and Stewart, not dismayed 
by the misfortunes of their comrades, did not 
turn their faces towards North Carolina, but 
constructed another camp and, though short 
of ammunition, continued hunting and explor- 
ing as before. It must be assumed that on 
their escape from the Indians, they had 
brought away their guns and ammunition. 
One historian reports them as amusing them- 
selves in hunting and exploring, which state- 
ment, if correct, indicates that certain natures 
can find amusement under the most adverse 
circumstances. But even this method of 
amusement drew near its end as their slender 
stock of ammunition was nearly exhausted, 
when there happened an incident tending to 
show- that Providence was on the side of the 
gallant hunters and explorers. 

The family of Daniel Boone grew alarmed 
because of his long absence, during which, of 
course, they had heard nothing from him, and 
his faithful brother. Squire Boone, with a 
single companion whose name is to historv 
unknown, set forth to find him. This illus- 
trates the spirit of the pioneer; his careless- 
ness of danger ; his purpose to go on and do 
that which his duty called him to do, fearing 
nothing, daring all things and through these 
high qualities winning in the end, as Squire 
Boone and his unknown companion did in this 
instance. McElroy says of them : "With no 
chart to guide them, with no knowledge of the 
location of the wanderers, amid thousands of 
miles of unljroken forest, it seems little short 
of a miracle that early in January, 1770, thev 
came upon the camp in which Boone and 

Stewart had spent the previous night. Even 
after this discovery, it might have been a suf- 
ficiently difficult task for any but an Indian or 
pioneer to find the wanderers. But to a woods- 
man so new a trail could not be missed, and 
shortly afterward Boone and Stewart were 
startled to see two human forms approaching 
through the forest. Instantly alert and on 
guard against surprises, they watched the fig- 
ures until, as they came within the range of 
clear vision, Boone recognized the beloved 
form of his faithful brother." 

John Filson, the biographer of Boone, 
makes the old hero describe this momentous 
event in the following terms : "About this 
time my brother. Squire Boone, with another 
adventurer, who came to explore the countrv 
shortly after us, was wandering through the 
forest, determined to find me, if possible and 
accidentally found our camp." Again there is 
a failure to name Squire Boone's fellow ad- 
venturer who appears to have wandered away 
from his comrades and never returned either 
to them or to his home in North Carolina. 
And so he passed into the early history of 
Kentucky and out of it again, nameless and 
unknown so far as most historical research 
has shown. But John Filson reports Daniei 
Boone as saying to him : "The man who came 
with mv Ijrother returned home by himself. 
We were then in a dangerous, helpless situ- 
ation, exposed daily to perils and death 
amongst the savages and wild beasts, not a 
white man in the country but ourselves." 
Boone, it will be observed, does not give the 
name of this man. It is charitable to suppose 
that he did not desert his comrades, but fell 
at the hands of the savages ; and there let him 

Boone had no thought of turning back. Fil- 
son does him the high honor of saying that 
Boone considered himself "an instrument or- 
dained to settle the wilderness." Bogart in his 
"Boone" says: "On the safety of these men 
rested the hope of a nation. Their defeat. 



their captivity, their death would have chilled 
the vigor of enterprise. Without Boone the 
settlements could not have been held, and 
the conquest of Kentucky would have been 
reserved for the immigrants of the nineteenth 

He might have added that without Boone 
and the results of his coming to Kentucky, 
the splendid results following in after years 
the activity of George Rogers Clark, woidd 
have been an impossibility ; and the immense 
territorv which he added to our domain would 
later have been gained only with great loss of 
life, and it may be would have been indef- 
initely left in the hands of those from whose 
hands the heroic Clark so easily took it. Ken- 
tucky, though giving Boone a grave in her 
capital, has never paid to him the debt of 
honor and gratitude which was his due. It is 
not to the credit of the state that he sought a 
resting place first on \'irginia. where he was 
honored, and lastly in Missouri, where the 
brave old pioneer finally laid down life's bur- 
den and found in the grave the only peace his 
restless spirit had ever known. 

In -May, 1770, their stock of ammunition 
being again nearly exhausted. Squire Boone, 
it was determined, should return home "for a 
new recruit of horses and ammunition." Dan- 
iel Boone being thus left alone in the wilder- 
ness was the only white man, so far as he 
knew, in all Kentucky. Stewart, his gallant 
and long-time comrade, had been killed by the 
Indians soon after they were joined by Squire 
Boone, thus being the first martyr to western 
exploration so far as is accurately known. 

To make the trip to North Carolina and 
return, required some three months, during 
which Boone must have grown very lonely. 
Filson makes him say, and no doubt truth- 
fully: "I confess I was never before under 
greater necessity of exercising philosophy and 
fortitude. A few days I passed uncomfortably." 
Note that expression of "a few days." Boone 
was not the man to give way to his feelings. 

else he would r.ever have been the successful 
pioneer that he was. Some cne has said of 
him that he was once asked if he was never 
lost in the wilderness, to which he replied that 
he was never lost but "was once bewildered 
for three days" : which is a fair companion 
piece to the statement of the Indian who de- 
clared "Indian not lost; wigwam lost." 

Boone spent the months of waiting in ex- 
plorations to the southwest which appear to 
have brought him to Salt river and Green 
river. Signs of Indians were abundant, but 
he had now become so expert a woodman that 
he managed to avoid meeting any of them. 
He slept without a fire and made his camps 
in the dense canebrakes and thus avoided his 
savage foes. July 27, 1770, he returned to his 
old camp where to his great happiness his 
brother mef him. Indian signs warned them 
of their danger and turning to the southward 
they explored the region along the Cumber- 
land, finding abundant game, but a poorer soil 
than that which they had left. In March. 
1 77 1, they went northward toward the Ken- 
tucky river, finally selecting a point for the 
permanent settlement which they had planned 
and then loading their furs and few other be- 
longings upon their two horses they turned 
their faces once more towards North Carolina 
and civilization ; of which Boone had known 
nothing for two years, "during most of which 
time," says McElroy, "he had neither tasted 
bread nor seen the face of man with the ex- 
ception of his brother, his unfortunate fellow 
hunters now gone, and a few straggling In- 
dians, more animal than human ; but at its 
close, he was a real Kentuckian. the first Ken- 
tuckian, ready at all times to speak in unmeas- 
ured praise of the land which," he says, "I 
esteemed a second Paradise." 

It may be of interest to some to note here 
that the fame of Daniel Boone, in after years, 
did not rest alone with those by whom he was 
immediately surrounded, but had gone across 
the seas to England, whose poet. Lord Byron, 



thus embalmed him in one of the cantos of 
"Don Juan": 

"Of all men saving Sylla, the manslayer. 
Who passes for, in Hfe and death, most 

Of the great names which in our faces stare, 
The General Boone, backwoodsman of Ken- 
Was happiest of mortals anywhere." 

While Boone would doubtless have objected 
to the title of "General" given him by Byron, 
there is no doubt that the poet caught the 
dominant note of his character in describing 
him as "happiest of mortals anywhere," when 
alone in the midst of the wilderness. This 
may not be altogether complimentary to Mrs. 
Boone and the younger Boones, but history 
was invented to record facts and not compli- 


Problematic Journey Down the Mississippi— Knox's "Long Hunters"— Boone 
Again Starts Kentucky-ward— Surveyors Sent Out— Sites of Louisville and 
Frankfort — Indians Rise Against Settlers— Boone as a Warning Messenger- 
Great Battle between Red and White Men — Peace Treaty with Lord Dunmore. 

Boone had supposed liimself while awaiting 
the return of his brother, the only white man 
in Kentucky, in which he was mistaken; as at 
the same time, a party of forty Virginia hunt- 
ers from the mountainous regions about New 
river, the Holston and Clinch, had come into 
the country fully equipped for hunting and 
trapping, and, as a matter of course, for such 
Indian fighting as they might fall upon. These 
hunters passed through the Cumberland Gap, 
which years afterwards was to figure large 
in a greater warfare than Kentucky ever knew 
in her pioneer days. These men camped on the 
Cumberland river in what was later to become 
Wayne county and established a depot for 
trade with the Indians — a somewhat singular 
statement when one considers the relations that 
had existed between the Savages and the few 
other white men who had ventured to intrude 
upon their chosen hunting ground. From this 
depot, small parties of hunters went out hunt- 
ing and exploring with the understanding that 
they were to come into headquarters once in 
five weeks, report their experiences and 
deposit the spoils of their skill. This did not 
"wholly suit the woodsmen and one after an- 
other these bands set up in business for them- 
selves and declined to report, or else deserted. 

Ten of these men are reported to have con- 
structed transports, loaded them with skins 
dnd the flesh of the wild animals they had 
slain and, floating down the Cumberland into 

the Ohio and later into the Mississippi, finally 
reached Natchez. There they are reputed to 
have made sale of their cargo at the Spanish 
fort at that point, afterwards returning over- 
land to their far-away homes in Virginia. It 
is difficult to believe that these men in the 
midst of an absolute wilderness, with but few 
tools at hand, should have been able to con- 
struct transports suflSciently seaworthy to con- 
vey themselves and their cargoes to the port 
of Natchez on the Mississippi, many hundreds 
of miles from the starting point. How much 
of the statement is real history, and how much 
mere tradition, will never be known. It is a 
part of the history or tradition, as you will 
have it, that many of these adventurous men 
on their return from Natchez were lost in the 
wilderness, where they doubtless fell a prey to 
the savages, as they were never again heard 

Col. James Knox, leader of the party from 
Virginia, who does not appear to have partici- 
pated in the apochryphal Natchez expedition, 
with nine companions, pushed into the wilder- 
ness to a point near where Greensburg in 
Green county is now located, establishing 
there a second trading station, and exploring 
the region which was later to form the coun- 
ties of Barren, Hart, Edmonson and others. 
Knox remained two years in what was then 
known as the Kentucky district, but which for 
convenience sake will always be referred to 




herein as Kentucky. At the end of tliat time 
they returned to \'irginia with many wonder- 
ful stories of their experiences. By comnun 
consent these men were afterwards known as 
the "long hunters." In the earlier days in 
Kentucky than the present, a man who related 
marvelous stories was referred to as "shoot- 
ing with a long gun," a politer method of ex- 
pressing disbelief than the use of a shorter 
word. One may speculate upon the relation 
between this practice and the name "long 

der of the party finally succeeded in driving 
off the savages, but made no further attempt 
to cross the mountain pass into Kentucky but, 
to the contrary, retraced their steps to their 
former home, the effort to found homes in the 
new land thus proving a complete failure. 

No further eft'orts were made during 1773 
to plant colonies in Kentucky, but in the latter 
part of that year Governor Dunmore of \'ir- 
ginia sent out a party of surveyors consisting 
of Capt. Thomas Bullitt, three brothers. 


hunters" bestowetl ujion these \'irginia hunt- 

In 1773, Daniel Boone, having sold his prop- 
erty in North Carolina, set out for Kentucky 
accompanied by his own and several other 
families, having in view a permanent settle- 
ment in the new land, being joined, en route, 
by some forty other adventurous souls. Im- 
peded by the size of the party and the slow- 
ness of their pack animals and other cattle, the 
party, after much delay, reached Cumberland 
( jap when, just as they were about to cross the 
mountains, an attack was made by the Indians 
and six of the party were killed. The remain- 

James, George and Robert McAfee, James 
Harrod and James Douglas and perhaps oth- 
ers, the names above quoted being regarded 
as the chief or ruling spirits of the party. The 
object sought in sending out this party was os- 
tensibly to induce settlements in Kentucky, as 
a guard against Indian depredations upon Vir- 
ginia settlements, though recalling the Anglo- 
Saxon hunger for land, one is not without sus- 
picion that the shrewd British governor had 
also in mind the increase of his private real 
estate holdings. 

These surveyors held a council with the In- 
dians at Chillicothe, Ohio, and soon afterward 



separated. Capt. Bullitt and those with him 
proceeded down the Ohio river to the present 
site of Louisville, which he surveyed. After 
spending several weeks at the spot on which 
the future metropolis was to be built, he sur- 
veyed much of the land now forming Bullitt 
county, which was later erected and named in 
his honor. 

The Mcx\fee party ascended the Kentucky 
river as far the site of Frankfort, where they 
surveyed the land upon which is built the pic- 
turesque little capital city of Kentucky. 

Tames Douglas and his party made surveys 
in the vicinity of Big Bone Lick, preparatory 
to a settlement there. Coming a second time 
from \'irginia in the spring of 1^74, Douglas 
extended his surveys along the Kentucky river, 
but the home he had planned was never to be 
his, as he died while on this second expedition. 
It is not to be understood that any of these 
surveving parties attempted permanent settle- 
ments. They were the forerunners of the 
actual settlers who were to come soon after 
them. Adventurers poured into the land in 
the spring of 1774, hungry for land but not in- 
tent upon present settlement. Collins relates 
that many of these men built "improver's 
cabins," which "meant merely nominal build- 
ings consisting of small squares of logs, built 
breast high and not even roofed, which were 
used as a means of technically fulfilling the let- 
ter of the laws, recpiiring settlement as a basis 
of land claims." 

The coming of these adventurous spirits 
alarmed the Indians who speedily took steps 
to protect themselves in the full possession of 
their hunting grounds by driving out the new 

Governor Dunmore. for the time being over- 
coming his desire to acquire lands in Ken- 
tucky, and willing to await a more auspicious 
opportunity, was desirous of warning the ad- 
venturers to return to X'irginia and for a mes- 
senger selected Daniel Boone. The fame of 
Boone as a pioneer must have spread through- 

out the territory then occupied by white men 
in the South. When we last heard of him he 
had returned to North Carolina from an un- 
successful effort to plant a colony in Ken- 
tucky. Now we find him bearing a message 
from Governor Dunmore, whose station was 
at ^Villiamsburg, X'irginia, to the adventurers 
in Kentucky. It may be that Boone's restless 
spirit had prevented his remaining on the Yad- 
kin river, in North Carolina, where we have 
already seen that he had disposed of his hold- 
ings, and that he had journeyed to \'irginia in 
search of further adventures. We next find 
him, in the execution of Lord Dunmore's 
wishes, starting on June 6, 1774, accompanied 
by Michael Stoner for the Falls of the Ohio 
with his note of warning which he appears to 
have successfully delivered, as he returned 
on August 8th, after having traveled 
eight hundred miles, at the head of a band of 
Dunmore's surveyors who had obeyed his 
warning. Some of the surveying parties de- 
clined to heed the note of warning and, re- 
maining in Kentucky, soon had cause to regret 
their action. 

The Indian tribes were now fully aroused 
against the encroachments of the white man 
and determined to drive him from their hunt- 
ing ground. The Shawnees led by their chief 
Cornstalk, followed by the Miamees, the Dela- 
wares, the Wyandottes and the other northern 
tribes, all equally desperate and determined, 
went upon the war-path leaving a trail of 
blood everywhere they touched toward the 
frontier settlements of Virginia, whatever 
white men who fell into their savage hands 
dying horrible deaths by torture. Winsor, in 
his "Narrative and Critical History of Amer- 
ica," is authority for the statement that more 
white persons were killed during this period 
of nominal peace than during the campaign 
that followed. 

Dunmore. aroused to action by the savage 
atrocities, decided to make open war upon 
them and settle, once for all, the question of 



the settlement of Kentucky. Two armies, 
numbering three thousand men, Virginia regu- 
lars and volunteers, were organized and pre- 
pared to march against the savages. Lord 
Dunmore marched with one division of these 
forces to Fort Pitt, at the same time ordering 
General Lewis, commanding the other divi- 
sion, to proceed to the mouth of the Kanawha. 
These forces were to unite at a given point on 
the Ohio river, and together attack and de- 
stroy the Shawnee villages in the Scioto valley. 
But Cornstalk, though a savage, was himself a 
master of military strategy, and he determined 
to attack and destroy the column of General 
Lewis before it could combine with that of 
Lord Dunmore ; in other words, like a good 
general, he proposed to fight and destroy his 
opponents one at a time. Lewis, either hav- 
ing warning of Cornstalk's purpose, or, as is 
more likely, divining it, proposed to antici- 
pate the action of his enemy and attack at 
once, which he did at what is known as Point 
Pleasant. In a word, he did, as General For- 
rest many years afterward declared the secret 
of military success to be — ^"Getting there first 
with the most men." October lo, 1774, Gen- 
eral Lewis' reconnoitering party, under com- 
mand of Colonels Fleming and Lewis, the lat- 
ter the General's brother, met a like party sent 
out by Cornstalk, the two parties being each 
more than a thousand strong. The result was 
for a time unfortimate for the whites, Flem- 
ing and Lewis, the commanding officers of the 
two regiments, being each mortally wounded 
and their troops driven back. The retreat was 
checked only by the coming on the field of re- 
enforcements under command of Colonel 
Field, who was later himself wounded, the re- 
sult of his coming being merely a temporary 
checking of the success of the savage forces. 
Cornstalk and his subordinates, Logan ("with 
a white man's name). Red Eagle and other less 
known chiefs, pressed forward to make com- 
plete their seeming victory. General Lewis, in 

the face of almost sure defeat, sent three of his 
captains — Isaac Shelby, George Matthews and 
John Stuart — upon the almost forlorn hope of 
a flank movement, with orders to gain the 
rear of the savage forces and attack them 
from this vantage ground Those familiar 
with military movements will understand that 
while this movement by the flank and to the 
rear was being executed. General Lewis and 
the already beaten troops in his command were 
compelled to hold the enemy in check, no mat- 
ter at what loss. The movement to the rear 
was successful, the savages, believing their 
new assailants to be w^hite reinforcements, 
fled across the Ohio to their villages on the 
Scioto. This contest, won at the last by strat- 
eg}', has been described as "the most hotly 
contested ' fight which the Indians had ever 
made against the English ; the first consider- 
able battle which they had fought without the 
aid of the French." 

One cannot refrain from expressing some- 
what of admiration for the untutored savage. 
Cornstalk, who, fighting for the land which 
he claimed for himself and his people, came 
so near a victory over white men, led by 
trained soldiers. Disheartened, however, by 
his defeat, he retired beyond the Ohio, there 
to learn that Dunmore had devastated with his 
column the Scioto villages and disheartened 
his braves who had survived the battles in 
which they had engaged with the white men. 

The result was a treaty arranged with Lord 
Dunmore at Camp Charlotte, in which treaty 
the allied tribes surrendered all claims to Ken- 
tucky as the Six Nations had formerly done 
at Fort Stanwax, it being guaranteed by the 
Indians that no white man should hereafter be 
molested on the Ohio river, nor should any 
Indian pass to the southern bank. This treaty 
was very good while it lasted, but unfortu- 
nately for the white settlers it was not faith- 
fully observed by the Indians. 


Boone, of the "Transylvania Company"— Colonel Richard Henderson — Cherokees 
Deed "Their" Lands — Boone, Colonizing Agent — Fort Boonesborough Erected — 
Indians Attack, Despite Treaty — Felix Walker's Narrative — Turning Back the 
Faint-Hearts — Henderson's Royal Reception — Last American "Lord Protector." 

The treaty with Cornstalk and his allies, 
after the victory of the Virginia forces at 
Point Pleasant, made safe for the time being, 
the upper Ohio river and correspondingly re- 
duced the dangers attendant upon those who 
ventured into Kentucky. The result was that 
men who had faith in Indian treaties and per- 
haps some who had not, took up the line of 
march for Kentucky where they hoped to get 
lands, erect homes, raise crops and thereafter 
live in peace. While this was a vain hope, as 
was later proven, yet it served a good purpose 
in that it brought into the unsettled territory 
men who could in most respects, be depended 
upon to aid in its defense against future sav- 
age incursions. 

There is a hint in McElroy, the latest of 
Kentucky historians, that Daniel Boone, of 
whose character the historian does not seem to 
have had too high an estimate, came first to 
Kentucky as the confidential agent of what 
was afterward known as the Transylvania 
Company He states that this cannot be ascer- 
tained with authority, but declares "that not 
many months after the battle of Point Pleas- 
ant, Boone was acting as the trusted and se- 
cret agent of such a corporation." This may 
be true of Boone, yet the latter day antagon- 
ism to anything bearing the name of a corpor- 
ation should not be permitted to dim the rec- 
ord of what Daniel Boone did towards wrest- 

Vol. 1—2. 17 

ing Kentucky from savage control and making 
it a safe home for the white man. 

Colonel Richard Henderson now begins to 
loom large upon the history of the west. He 
was a Virginian, who had gone to North Caro- 
lina, where he became a superior court judge. 
He was a man of talent, possibly of that rest- 
less Anglo-Sa.xon spirit which is never content 
with present surroundings, but impels its pos- 
sessor to go forward towards better things 
and wider fields of action. Henderson, with 
eight associates, formed a corporation the pur- 
pose of which was the purchase from the 
Cherokees of a great body of land in Kentucky 
on which to found a colony. Whatever may 
be said of his purposes or of his further de- 
signs, he should not be derided for his effort 
to open to civilization so fair a land as that 
which had attracted him. It was a great 
scheme, that of Colonel Henderson, but in the 
America of even that early day there seemed 
to have been the germ of liberty and his great 
proprietary idea came to naught in the end. 

A great council of about twelve hundred of 
the Cherokee Indians, with their chiefs in con- 
trol, was held at the Sycamore Shoals on the 
Watago river, following a propitiatory visit 
from Colonel Henderson. At this council a 
deed was drawn and signed with the formality 
usual in dealing with the Indians, which con- 
veyed to Colonel Henderson and his asso- 



ciates in a corporate capacity, as "Proprietors 
of the Colony of Transylvania," a district com- 
posing, according to McElroy, "one-half of 
the modern state of Kentucky and the adjacent 
part of Tennessee lying within the southerly 
bend of the Cumberland river." In considera- 
tion of the payment of ten thousand pounds 
sterling in goods, this treaty was signed March 
17, 1775. It would be interesting to know the 
value set upon these goods by the white signa- 
tories to the treaty There is a possibility that 
they might put to the blush some of the values 
put upon every-day commodities of the pres- 
ent day by the trusts which have taken control 
of so many of our present necessities. It is 
not every trust that is of recent birth. Our 
progenitors had, also, some business capacity 
Henderson had made his purchase, but had 
not calculated far enough into the future ; he 
had '"bought a pig in a poke," but had not se- 
cured actual possession of the pig. He had 
not, nor could he, secure a fair title to the 
lands wliich he claimed because the charter 
rights of the colony of Virginia included the 
lands which he claimed as well as tlie charter 
rights of the Royal Proclamation of 1763. Of 
course, the Indians also set up a claim to these 
lands, but that claim was not to Ije considered, 
as no other claim of theirs to any lands what- 
soever, was considered in those days. "Let 
him take who has the power ; let him keep who 
can" was the ruling idea, and the rights of the 
Indian were never considered at all. 

Henderson had a formal possession of the 
land granted him by the Cherokees, but ac- 
tual possession was a matter of more moment. 
To possess this wide domain, he must settle it ; 
to settle it, he must bring people from the 
East, which then meant \'irginia and North 
Carolina. This being true, what more natural 
than that Colonel Henderson should secure 
the services of Daniel Boone? He had been 
to Kentucky ; had spent many months m that 
country ; he knew more about it than any 
other man, and, in addition, he was a trained 

hunter and pioneer; he knew the Indians to 
whom he had been a captive and from whom 
he had escaped ; he had lived alone for many 
months in the new country and there was no 
other man with knowledge equal to his. It is 
to the credit of Henderson, whatever one may 
think of his schemes, that he should have se- 
lected Boone for the difficult task of marking 
a road to the principality which he hoped to 
possess. Nor does it seem that Boone should 
be blamed for accepting employment from a 
corporation whose object, however objection- 
able some may deem it, in other respects was 
to open a new land to civilization and settle- 

Boone accepted employment from Colonel 
Henderson and, according to John Filson, to 
whom every historian of early Kentucky is 
indebted, "collected a number of enterprising 
men well armed, proceeded with all necessary 
expedition until they came within fifteen miles 
of where Boonesborough now stands, and 
there were fired upon by a party of Indians 
who killed twi) and wounded two of the num- 
ber; yet, although surprised and taken at a 
disadvantage, they stood their ground. This 
was March 20, 1775. Three days afterwards 
we were fired upon again and two men killed 
and three wounded. Afterward we continued 
on to Kentucky river without opposition, and 
on April 5th began to erect the fort of Boones- 
borough at a salt lick, about sixty yards from 
the river on the south side." 

On the 20th of March, three days after the 
treaty with the Cherokees had been signed at 
Wataga, Colonel Henderson proved that his 
ambitious designs were backed by the brave 
spirit of the pioneer who dares all and risks 
all. He set out from Wataga at the head of 
thirty other adventurous spirits, for what he 
hoped was his new dominion, his purpose be- 
ing to set up a land office in the fort at 

Henderson's diary shows that his progress 
was accompanied by many incidents that are 



the accompaniment of all pioneer movements. 
These incidents, some of them trivial enough, 
are set forth with a particularity which indi- 
cates that Henderson took himself and his en- 
terprise very seriously, as well he might. 

Some of these incidents, however, were 
serious enough, as for instance the entry of 
April 7th, which is noted by Collins in full as 
follows : "About eleven o'clock received a let- 
ter from Mr. Eittereals' camp that there were 
five persons killed on the road to the 
Cantuckee, by Indians. Captain Hart upon 
the receipt of this news, retreated back with 
his company and determined to settle in the 
valley to make corn for the Cantucky people. 
The same day received a letter from Daniel 
Boone that his company was fired upon by In- 
dians who killed two of his men, though he 
kept the ground and saved the baggage, etc." 
Collins in his "History of Kentucky" gives 
the text of Boone's letter which was addressed 
to "Col. Henderson — "these with care," as fol- 
lows : 

"De.\r Colonel: After my compliments to you, I 
shall acquaint you of our misfortunes. On March 
the 25th, a party of Indians fired on my company 
about half an hour before day and killed Mr. Twetty 
and his negro and wounded Mr. Walker very deeply, 
but I hope he will recover. 

"On March the 28tli, as we were hunting for pro- 
visions, we found Samuel Tates' son, who gave us an 
account that the Indians fired on their camp on the 
27th day. My brother and I went down and found . 
two men killed and scalped, Thomas McDowell and 
Jeremiah McPheeters. I have sent a man down to 
all the lower companies in order to gather them all 
to the mouth of the Otter creek. My advice to you. 
Sir, is to come or send as soon as possible; your 
company is greatly desired, for the people are very 
uneasy but are willing to stay and venture their lives 
with you, and now is the time to frustrate the inten- 
tions of the Indians and keep' the country whilst we 
are in it. If we give way to them now, it will ever 
be the case. This day we start from the battle- 
ground for the mouth of Otter creek, where we shall 
immediately erect a fort which will be done before 
you can come or send — then we can send ten men to 
meet you, if you send for them. 

"I am Sir. ynur most obedient 

"D.\NIEL BooNE." 

'N. B.~We stood on the ground and guarded 

ur baggage till day and lost no.thing. We have about 

miles to Cantuck (Kentucky river) at Otter 


A side-light is thrown upon this letter of 
Daniel Boone and the conditions of those 
troublous times by the following narrative, 
prepared years afterward by Felix Walker, 
who is mentioned in Boone's communication 
to Colonel Henderson : 

"In the month of February in that year [1775] 
Captain William Twetty, Sanniel Coburn, James 
Bridges, Thomas Johnson, John Hart, William 
Hicks, Jas. Peeke, and myself set out from Ruther- 
ford county, N. C, to explore a country by the 
name of Leowvisay, greatly renowned and highly 
spoken of as the best quality of land, abounding in 
game, now in the State of Kentucky. 

"We placed ourselves under the care and direc- 
tion of Captain Twetty, an active and enterprising 
woodsman, of good original mind and great benevo- 
lence, and although a light-bodied man, in strength 
and agility of bodily powers was not surpassed by 
any of his day and time, well calculated for the 

"We proceeded to Watavvgo river, a tributary 
stream of Holsteen, to the residence of Col. Charles 
Robertson, now in the State of Tennessee, where 
a treaty was held by Col. Richard Henderson and his 
associates, with the Cherokee tribe of Indians, for 
the purchase of that section of the country we were 
going to visit, then called Bloody Ground, so named 
from the continual wars and quarrels of hunting 
parties of Indians of different tribes who all claimed 
the ground as their own, and the privilege of hunt- 
ing the gaine ; who murdered and plundered each 
other as opportunity offered. 

"We continued at Watawgo during the treaty, 
which lasted about twenty days. Among others there 
was a distinguished chief called .\tticullaculla. the 
Indian name, known to the white people by the 
name of Little Carpenter — in allusion, say the In- 
dians, to his deep, artful and ingenious diplomatic 
abilities, ably demonstrated in negotiating treaties 
with the white people, and influence in their national 
councils : like as a white carpenter could make every 
notch and joint fit in wood, so he could bring all his 
views to fill and fit their places in the political ma- 
chinery of his nation. He was the most celebrated 
and influential Indian among all the tribes then 
known ; considered as the Solon of his day. He was 
said to be about ninety years of age, a very small 



man, and so lean and light habited that I scarcely 
believe he would have exceeded more than a pound 
for each year of his life. He was marked with two 
large scores or scars on each cheek, his ears cut 
and banded with silver, hanging nearly down on each 
shoulder, the ancient Indian mode of distinction in 
some tribes and fashion in others. In one of his 
public talks delivered to the whites, he spoke to this 
effect : He was an old man, had presided as chief 
in their councils, and as president of his nation for 
more than half a century, had formerly been ap- 
pointed agent and evoy extraordinary to the King of 
England on business of the first importance to his 
nation; he crossed the big water, arrived at his 
destination, was received with great distinction, had 
the honor of dining with his majesty and the nobility; 
had the utmost respect paid him by the great men 
among the white people; had accomplished his mis- 
sion with success, and from the long standing in the 
highest dignities of his nation, he claimed the con- 
fidence and good faith in all and everything he would 
advance in support of the rightful claims of his 
people to the Bloody Ground, then in treaty to be 
sold to the white people. His name is mentioned, in 
the life of General Marion, at a treaty held with the 
Cherokees at Kewee, in South Carolina, i^ the ye?r 
1762 or '63. The treaty being concluded and the 
purchase made, we proceeded on our journey to meet 
Col. Daniel Boone with other adventurers, bound 
to the same country; accordingly we met and 
rendezvoused at the Long Island On Holsteen river, 
united our small force with Colonel Boone and his 
associates, his brother Squire Boone, and Col. 
Richard Calloway, of Virginia. Our company, when 
united, amounted to thirty persons. We then, by 
general consent, put ourselves under the manage- 
ment and control of Colonel Boone, who was to be 
our pilot and conductor through the wilderness to 
the promised land ; perhaps no adventurers since the 
days of Don Quixote, or before, ever felt so cheerful 
and elated in prospect; every heart abounded with 
joy and excitement in anticipating the new things we 
would see. and the romantic scenes through which 
we must pass; and exclusive of the novelty of the 
journey, the advantages and accumulations ensuing 
on the settlement of a new country was a dazzling 
object with many of our company. Under the in- 
fluence of those impressions we went our way re- 
joicing with transporting views of our success, tak- 
ing our leave of the civilized world for a season. 

"About the loth of March we put off from the 
Long Island, marked our track with our hatchets, 
crossed the Clinch and Powell's river, over Cum- 
berland mountain, and crossed Cumberland river — 

came to a water course called by Col. — — Rockcastle 
river; killed a fine bear on our way, camped all 
night and had an excellent supper. 

"On leaving that river we had to encounter and 
cut our way through a country of about twenty 
miles, entirely covered with dead brush, which we 
found a difficult and laborious task; at the end of 
which we arrived at the commencement of a cane 
country; traveled about thirty miles through thick 
cane and reed, and as the cane ceased, we began to 
discover the pleasing and rapturous appearance of 
the plains of Kentucky. A new sky and strange 
earth seemed to be presented to our view. So rich 
a soil we had never seen before ; covered with clover 
in full bloom ; the woods were abounding with wild 
game — turkey so numerous that it might be said 
they appeared but one flock, universally scattered in 
the woods. It appeared that nature, in the pro- 
fusion of her bounty, had spread a feast for all that 
lives, both for the animal and rational world. A 
sight so delightful to our view and grateful to our 
feelings almost inclined us, in imitation of Columbus, 
in transport to kiss the soil of Kentucky, as he hailed 
and saluted the sand on first setting foot on the 
shores of America. The appearance of the country 
came up to the full measure of our expectations, and 
seemed to exceed the fruitful source of our imaginary 

"We felt ourselves as passengers through the 
wilderness just. arrived at the fields of Elysium, or 
at the garden where was no forbidden fruit. 
Nothing can furnish the contemplative mind with 
more sublime reflections than nature unbroken by 
art. We can there trace the wisdom of the Great 
Architect in the construction of his works in Na- 
ture's simplicity, which, when he had finished, he 
pronounced all good. But. alas, fond man! the 
vision of a moment made dream of a dream, and 
shadow of a shade! Man may appoint, but One 
greater than man can disappoint. A sad reverse 
overtook us two days after on our way to the Ken- 
tucky river. On the 27th of March, 1775, we were 
fired on by the Indians in our camp asleep, about 
an hour before day. Captain Twetty was shot in 
both knees, and died the third day after; a black 
man, his body servant, killed dead; myself badly 
wounded ; our company dispersed. So fatal and 
tragical an event cast a deep gloom of melancholy 
over all our prospects and high calculations of long 
life and happy days in our newly-discovered country 
were prostrated; hope vanished from the most of us, 
and left us suspended in the tumult of uncertainty 
and conjecture. Colonel Boone and a few others ap- 
peared to possess firmness and fortitude. In our 



calamitous situation a circunastance occurred one 
morning: after our misfortunes that proved the cour- 
age and stability of our few remaining men (for 
some had gone back). One of our men who had 
run ofif at the fire of the Indians on our camp, was 
discovered peeping from behind a tree by a black 
woman belonging to Colonel Calloway while gather- 
ing small wood. She ran in and gave the alarm of 
Indians. Colonel Boone instantly caught his rifle, 
ordered the few men to form, take trees and give 
battle, and not to run till they saw him fall. They 
formed agreeable to his directions, and I believe 
they would have fought with equal bravery to any 
Spartan band ever brought to the field of action, 
when the man behind the tree announced his name 
and came in. My situation was critical and danger- 
ous, being then a youth, three hundred miles from 
white inhabitants. My friend and guardian. Captain 
Twetty, taken dead from my side, my wounds pro- 
nounced by some to be mortal, produced very serious 
reflections. Yet withal I retained firmness to sup- 
port me under the pressure of distress, and did not 
suffer me to languish in depressing mind. 

"But where shall I begin, or where can I end, 
in thanks and grateful acknowledgments to that 
benign and merciful Protector who spared and pre- 
served me in the blaze of danger and in the midst 
of death ! I trust I shall remember that singular 
and protecting event with filial sensations of gratitude 
while I retain my recollection. 

"We remained at the same place twelve days ; I 
could not be removed sooner without the danger of 
instant death. At length I was carried on a litter 
between two horses twelve miles, to Kentucky river, 
where we made a station and called it Boones- 
borough, situated in a plain on the south side of the 
river, wherein was a lick with two sulphur springs 
strongly impregnated. On entering the plain we 
were permitted to view a very interesting and ro- 
mantic sight. A number of buflfaloes of all sizes, 
supposed to be between two and three hundred, made 
ofif from the lick in every direction ; some running, 
some walking, others loping slowly and carelessly, 
with young calves playing, skipping and bounding 
through the plain. Such a sight some of us never 
saw before, nor perhaps never again. But to pro- 
ceed: Col. Richard Henderson, Col. Luttrell, from 
North Carolina, Capt. William Cock, since the Hon. 
Judge Cock, of Tennessee, and Col. Thomas Slaugh- 
ter, of Virginia, arrived in the month of April, with 
a company of about thirty men. Our military forces, 
when united, numbered about sixty or sixty-five 
men, expert riflemen. We lived plentifully on wild 
meat, buffalo, bear, deer and turkey, without bread 

or salt, generally in good health, until the month 
of July, when I left the country. 

"Col. Richard Henderson, being the chief pro- 
prietor of the bloody ground (indeed so to us), 
acted as governor, called an assembly by election of 
members out of our small numbers, organized a 
government, convened the assembly in May, 1773, 
consisting of eighteen members, exclusive of the 
speaker, and passed several laws for the regulation 
of our little community, well adapted to the policy 
of an infant government. 

"The assembly was held under two shade trees 
in the plains of Boonsborough. This was the first 
feature of civilization ever attempted in what is now 
called the western country. 

"This small beginning; that little germ of policy 
by a few adventurers from North Carolina has gi.ven 
birth to the now flourishing state of Kentucky. 
From that period the population increased with 
such rapidity that in less than twenty years it became 
a state. 

"In justice to Colonel Henderson it may be said 
that his message or address to the assembly alluded 
to was considered equal to any of like kind ever de- 
livered to any deliberate body in that day and time. 

"In the sequel and conclusion of my narrative I 
must not neglect to give honor to whom honor is due. 
Colonel Boone conducted the company under his 
care through the wilderness with great propriety, 
intrepidity and courage ; and was I to enter an ex- 
ception to any part of his conduct it would be on 
the ground that he appeared void of fear and of 
consequence — too little caution for the enterprise. 
But let me, with feeling recollection and lasting 
gratitude, ever remember the unremitting kindness, 
sympathy, and attention paid to me by Colonel Boone 
in my distress. He was my father, my physician and 
friend ; he attended me as his child, cured my 
wounds by the use of medicines from the woods, 
nursed me with paternal affection until I recovered, 
without the expectation of reward. Gratitude is the 
only tribute I can pay to his memory. He is now 
beyond the praise or the blame of mortals in that 
world imknown from whose bourne no traveler re- 
turns. I also was kindly treated by all my compan- 
ions, particularly John Kennedy. From Captain 
Cook I received kind and friendly attentions. 

"We continued in our station ; our men were out 
viewing and exploring the country, choosing such 
tracts of land as suited them, plenty for all, and 
thought all was our own. 

"Col. James Harrod, my old acquaintance in North 
Carolina, came up to see me, and tarried a few days. 
Being a little recovered, I went home with him to 



his station, since called Harrodsburg, where he had 
a few men. I tarried there two weeks, and returned 
to Boonsborough. These two stations contained the 
whole population of that country which did not ex- 
ceed in number one hundred men. 

"The company in our station continued to traverse 
the country through woods and wilds, choosing their 
lots of future inheritance, until the month of July, 
when I returned home to my father's residence in 
North Carolina, and have not seen Kentucky since, 
which I have often regretted. 

"I have been often solicited to make a publica- 
tion of this adventure, but still declined until late. 
There appears something like it in the newspapers 
which is not correct. 

"I therefore thought it incumbent on me as one 
of the company, and in possession of all the facts, to 
make this statement, and give it publicity, which I 
know to be truth by hard experience ; and perhaps I 
may be the last solitary individual of that number 
left to give a correct relation of that adventure. 

"Felix W.alker." 

The terms of the treaty made with the In- 
dians after their defeat at Point Pleasant do 
not seem to have rested very heavily upon 
them. It will be remembered that this treaty 
guaranteed the safety of white men on the 
Ohio river and provided that no Indian should 
go across the river to its southern bank. The 
battle of Point Pleasant, which preceded the 
treaty, was fought October lO, 1774, the 
agreement with the Indians following soon 
afterwards, yet in the following March the 
Indians were on the southern side of the Ohio 
river, as shown by Boone's letter, indulging in 
their favorite pastime of murdering white 

That the Indians had crossed the river and 
begun fresh atrocities was soon known to the 
different bodies of whites, creating much 
alarm. Colonel Henderson notes in his diary, 
under date of April 8th, that he "met about 
forty persons returning from the Cantucky on 
accotmt of the late murder by the Indians. 
Could prevail on only one to return. Several 
Virginians, who were with us, turned back 
from here " 

These desertions were not as serious as up- 

on their face they appear to be. The men, 
who, "having put their hands to the plow," 
looked back, were not of the stuff of which 
pioneers are made. Had they remained, timid 
as they were, they might have proven a bur- 
den rather than aid to their real sturdy fellows, 
who dared to meet the Indian on any ground 
and who fought him until they had gained for 
the white man every foot of Kentucky. 

On receipt of Boone's letter. Colonel Hen- 
derson sent forward Capt. William Cocke to 
inform Boone of his speedy coming, following 
his messenger with such rapidity as the many 
difficulties of an unknown forest presented. 
He met a second party of nineteen faint- 
hearted fugitives making all haste to escape 
the savage dangers of the new land. Hender- 
son, impetuous and brave, was able to per- 
suade a few of these men to turn back and ac- 
company him to Boonesboro, the others con- 
tinumg their retreat to the safe land whence 
they originally came. Colonel Henderson and 
his party, escaping molestation by the Indians, 
reached Boonesborough April 20, 1775, and 
McElroy notes the fact that this was "the very 
day which began the process of penning up 
General Gage in the rebellious town of Bos- 
ton." Noting in his diary the arrival of him- 
self and party at Boonesborough, Colonel Hen- 
derson, with the pride of a baron of old when 
acclaimed by his retainers, writes : "We were 
saluted by a running fire of about twenty-five 
guns, all that were at the fort. Men appeared 
in high spirits and much rejoiced at our ar- 

McElroy in "Kentucky in the Nation's His- 
tory," in a burst of indignant patriotism, 
tinged with present-day political fervor, makes 
this comment upon Henderson's arrival at the 
new fort : 

"Thus did the last of America's Lord Pro- 
prietors enter his domain, a little stockade con- 
taining a few rough log cabins, and sur- 
rounded by a virgin wilderness of some twenty 
million acres. Presumably this was a good 



place to try again the ancient experiment of a 
Lord Proprietorship, but we can now see that 
even under the most ideal conditions, no such 
s_vstem of government could have lasted long 
in the America of 1775. The winds of politi- 
cal doctrine had long been blowing in a direc- 
tion quite contrar}' to such an arrangement, as 
the heirs of the Penns and the Calverts had 
come to understand." 

The people of America had grown weary of 
"princes and principalities" and as we have 
seen, were taking steps in Boston to rid them- 
selves of such on the very day when Hender- 
son was being received with salvos at Boones- 
borough. Instead of Lords Proprietors, they 
were about to propose to their ruler across the 
seas, to become independent proprietors them- 
selves. How well they succeeded need not be 
re-stated here. The echo of the shot at Con- 

cord, "heard round the world," as Emerson 
poetically stated it, yet reverberates and is 
heeded by every nation on the globe. 

It was not alone that the idea behind Colonel 
Henderson's movement was unsound and not 
to be tolerated by a people about to set on foot 
a movement for their own emancipation from 
kingly control ; there was yet another objec- 
tion — he had no just and proper title to the 
vast domain which he claimed by reason of the 
Wataga treaty. That was the current theory. 
There were more than two hundred men in 
Kentucky holding land under lawful grant 
from Virginia before Colonel Henderson had 
organized the Transylvania movement, or 
entered into the Wataga treaty, which itself 
was deemed illegal and in conflict with the 
laws of Virginia. 


Pioneers of Harrodsburg — Lord Dunmore vs. Coloxel Hendersox — Hexderson Founds 
New Settlement — Opposition to Tr.\nsylvania Company — First Kentucky Legis- 
lative Assembly — Henderson's "Proprietory" Government — Exhibits Indian Deed 

— Fear of Vassalage Arises — Garrison Dwindles — Gener.\l Laxd Agent Created 

Henderson Appeals to Congress — Transylvania Refused Recognition — "Misunder- 
stood" Henry's Character — Opposition Appeal to Virginia — George Rogers Clark 

The first permanent settlement in Kentucky 
was that at Harrodsburg, which was laid out 
June i6, 1774, by Captain James Harrod, who, 
with each of this thirty companions, retained a 
town lot of one half acre and an "outlot" of 
ten acres. 

When one recalls the boundless area of un- 
occupied land all about them, one is surprised 
that these modest pioneers retained but one- 
half an acre each on which to build their 
homes. It may be that, recognizing the dan- 
gers by which they were constantly sur- 
rounded, and their dependence upon each 
other, they deemed it wisest not to erect their 
new homes too far apart. A half-acre was 
sufficient for the modest log cabin and its occu- 
pant was in easy calling distance of his neigh- 
bor on either side. 

One of those with Harrod was James Har- 
lan, grandfather of Mr. Justice John M. Har- 
lan, who has so long honored Kentucky on the 
bench of the supreme court of the United 

While Harrod and his associates were en- 
gaged in the allotment of their homesteads, 
Daniel Boone and Michael Stoner came to 
them with the warning from Governor Dun- 
more that the Indians were about to go on the 
warpath. Boone delayed long enough to as- 
sist in the assignment of lots among Harrod's 

men, in return for which he was also assigned 
a lot. It does not appear that his companion, 
Stoner, was equally compensated, and the pre- 
sumption is that while Boone was assisting the 
new settlers in working out their first munici- 
pal problem Stoner was loafing. To be charit- 
able, it may be assumed that he was on a hunt- 
ing expedition. 

Harrod and his party paid heed to Lord 
Dunmore's warning, and withdrew to Vir- 
ginia, but came back immediately after peace 
was declared. March 15, 1775, they reoccu- 
pied Harrodsburg. 

These men could not be expected to look 
with complacency upon Colonel Henderson's 
schemes. They were located on their own 
lands before the Transylvania scheme was put 
into effect ; a fact which Colonel Henderson 
seemed to respect, since he made no attempt at 
interference with completed land titles. 

Besides the Harrod settlement, there were 
also two other places. Boiling Spring and St. 
Asaph, or Logan's Fort, which represented 
legal claims surveyed and entered before the 
setting up of the Transylvania claim. While 
they were not fortified stations as yet, nor even 
settlements, the claimants of land at each of 
those places had complied with the legal re- 
quirements of \'irginia, and it will readily ap- 
pear that the interested parties at each of these 




three places would look with but small favor 
upon the Transylvania scheme. 

Meanwhile Colonel Henderson and his asso- 
ciates were pondering the momentous ques- 
tions presented by these prior claims. Before 
final conclusions, if any such were reached, 
could be put into effect, a messenger from 
Lord Dunmore, governor of Virginia, arrived 
with a momentous document. Col. R. T. Dur- 
rett, of Louisville, has in his unrivaled histor- 

and his more than suspected desire to feather 
his own financial nest with rich real estate 
pickings in Kentucky, it must be admitted that 
he had a fine style in the matter of proclama- 
tions and a use of the King's English which 
left no one in doubt as to his meaning. 

This proclamation arrayed Virginia and 
Colonel Henderson in direct opposition, but the 
latter appears to have been something of a 
fighter himself. He was a native of Virginia, 

Kentucky's First Cabin Built in 1774 at Harrodsburg by James Harrod 

ical collection, a manuscript copy of the procla- 
mation issued by Lord Dunmore, in which in 
strong language he refers to "one Richard 
Henderson and other disorderly persons, his 
associates, who, under pretense of a purchase 
from the Indians, contrary to aforesaid orders 
and regulations of His Majesty, has set up a 
claim to lands of the crown within the limits 
of the colony." The proclamation enjoined 
"all justices of the peace, sheriflfs and other 
officers, civil and military, to use their utmost 
endeavors to prevent the unwarranted and il- 
legal designs of the said Henderson and his 

Whatever one may think of Lord Dunmore 

had been a judge in North Carolina, and, it 
may be, that he had that large lack of respect 
for George the Third and his officers which 
was then so common in the American colonies. 
At any rate, he did not permit Lord Dun- 
more's proclamation to interfere, so far as one 
can judge from outer appearances, with his 
preconcerted plans. He found the fort which 
Boone had erected too small for the aug- 
mented forces. Perhaps, what was more im- 
portant in his sight, was the fact that before 
his arrival, Boone had apportioned among the 
men of his party, most of the good land about 
the fort, each man receiving a two-acre lot. 
Henderson and his party not having arrived at 



the time of the allotment, had no lots set apart 
for them. Henderson therefore, decided upon 
the erection of a second and larger fort nearer 
the river bank and some three hundred yards 
from Boone's fort. Having marked off fifty- 
four lots about the site of the proposed new 
fort, Henderson notified his following that 
they would be distributed by lot on the even- 
ing of April 22nd. Robert and Samuel Mc- 
Afee, who were among those returning to Vir- 
ginia and who were met by Colonel Henderson 
and persuaded to join his party, declined to 
engage in this scheme of allotment, stating 
their preference to return to their claims 
hitherto entered at a point some fifty miles be- 
low on the Kentucky river. Collins quotes 
from Henderson's journal : 'T informed them 
mvself in the hearing of all attending," says 
Henderson, "that such settlement should not 
entitle them to lands from us." This was the 
beginning of the land troubles, and was prob- 
ably intended by Henderson as his response 
to the Dunmore proclamation and a notice to 
all that the Transylvania Company proposed to 
assert its imaginary rights under the Wataga 

Captain John Hoyd at the head of thirty 
Virginians, a few days later came to Hender- 
son from their camps on Dick's river to ask 
upon what terms he and his followers could 
secure lands from the Transylvania Company. 
This was the first apparent recognition of the 
Transylvania Company, but Henderson was 
wary and suspecting Floyd, a deputy surveyor 
of Fincastle county, of being a spy sent to 
gather information against the Transylvania 
Company, gave him nothing that could be used 
against the latter company. 

While Floyd was impatiently awaiting a dec- 
laration of his purposes from Colonel Hender- 
son, there appeared two others who wished 
like information. These were Col. Thomas 
Slaughter and Capt. James Harrod, each of 
whom had preceded Henderson into Kentucky 
and were naturally anxious to know why he, 

at a later date, should have a claim prior lo 
their own. Henderson evidently recognized 
the difficulties that confronted him, though he 
did not give way to them. 

In the Durrett manuscript collection, Hen- 
derson says: "We were afraid to determine in 
favor of the right side ; and, not being capable, 
if we could have wished it, to give a decree 
against them, our embarrassment was exceed- 
ingly great." 

Henderson was a man of resources. De- 
feated in one line of attack, he attempted an- 
other. One is tempted to admire Colonel 
Henderson. He was a gallant man, not afraid 
to meet his enemies and give them battle. He 
had imagination and looked to the future. 
Transylvania proved that. The trouble with 
Colonel Henderson was that he arrived too 
late. The people of the colonies had reached a 
point where they proposed to do their own 
thinking; to cut themselves loose from princes 
and principalities and be free men. Henderson 
pfobably saw this but he was not the man to 
surrender without carrying the fight to its ut- 
termost limits. It occurred to him to bring to 
one point delegates from all the Kentucky sta- 
tions, there to discuss the situation. Henderson 
had confidence in himself ; he knew himself to 
be, intellectually, the superior of most of the 
men who would respond to his call, and count- 
ed upon that fact to dominate the conference 
and present such legislation as would redound 
to his advantage. 

In accordance with Henderson's call, the 
first legislative assembly of the district of Ken- 
tucky was held, being called to order by Col- 
onel Henderson at Boonesborough, according 
to the Durrett manuscript, which is accorded 
accuracy in this history over the imagination 
of others or "old wives' fables," hitherto ac- 
cepted as history. 

The delegates being assembled. Colonel 
Henderson welcomed them with a short 
speech which McElroy says was "with the 
formality and bombast of a senatorial utter- 



ance." Henderson, himself the chief violator 
of law in the district, pointed out the need of 
law in a civilized country, and laid great stress 
upon the dignity of the occasion of their com- 
ing together. "You, perhaps, are fixing a pal- 
ladium, or placing the corner-stone of an edi- 
fice, the height and magnificence of whose 
superstructure is now in the womb of futurity, 
and can only become great and glorious in pro- 
portion to the excellence of its foundation." 
It would be pleasant to accord to Colonel Hen- 
derson prophetic powers in this statement, 
which has since become literally true, but it is 
probable that the orator was searching for 
beautifully rounded periods rather than cor- 
rect prophetic utterances. But one must ad- 
mit that he spoke well, however his splendid 
plans may have failed. He was no common 

Colonel Henderson was an ambitious, but 
not a bad man. He believed in the supremacy 
of the law and is found declaring that if 
courts of law are not properly organized and 
their decrees observed, "our name will become 
odious abroad and our peace of short and pre- 
carious duration." His opinion of the Dun- 
more proclamation, hitherto referred to, may 
be gathered from his reference thereto: "It 
would give honest and disinterested persons 
cause to suspect that there are some colorable 
reasons, at least, for the unworthy, scandalous 
assertions, together with the groundless insin- 
uations, contained in an infamous and scurri- 
lous libel lately published concerning the set- 
tlement of this country, the author of which 
avails himself of his station, and under the 
spurious pretense of proclamation, pompously 
dressed up and decorated in the garb of au- 
thority, has uttered invectives of the most 
malignant kind and endeavors to wound the 
good name of persons whose moral character 
would derive little advantage by being placed 
in competition with his." 

It will be observed from these remarks of 
Colonel Henderson that he had a full com- 

mand of the English language and was equal 
to its forcible use in stating his opinion of 
those who did not agree with his Transylvania 
project. Henderson speciously added that he 
and his associates had "contemplated the es- 
tablishment of a proprietary government, as 
nearly as possible on the model of those exist- 
ing by the royal grant," though he knew at 
the moment of making these statements that 
the colonies were ready to revolt against the 
royal authority and that the alleged grant of 
lands which he claimed, under the Wataga 
treaty, was in direct opposition to the grants 
made under law by Virginia. 

Henderson was in no wise inclined to lessen 
the dignity of his position of "Lord Propri- 
etor" and desired that others should recog- 
nize it. "He contemplated," says McElroy, 
"the establishment of a proprietory govern- 
ment as nearly as possible on the model of 
those existing by royal grant" and to this idea 
he clung though making some slight conces- 
sions to Democratic theories. 

The assembly attempted little legislation, 
which was in accordance, no doubt, with Col- 
onel Henderson's wishes. There was nothing 
said or done with the all-important subject of 
land titles, though the McAfee brothers had 
brought that subject squarely to the attention 
of Henderson some time before the meeting. 
When the question of a name for the new dis- 
trict was considered on the request of Todd 
and Harrod, Colonel Henderson and his asso- 
ciates replied, "that it was their pleasure that 
it should be called Transylvania," which Mc- 
Elroy terms, "rather a high sounding reply for 
a Democratic government," but it settled the 

The manuscript journal of this, the first 
convention ever held in Kentucky, is in pos- 
session of Colonel Durrett and from it is 
learned that Daniel Boone, Harrod and Cocke 
were sent as delegates to "wait on the pro- 
prietors," supposedly at Harrodsburg, Boiling 
Spring and St. Asaph or Logan's fort," and 



beg that they will not indulge any person 
whatever in granting them lands, unless they 
comply with the former proposals of settling 
the country." These "former proposals" are 
supposed to be those of the Transylvania Com- 
pany, but why Harrod, the head of the settle- 
ment at Harrodsburg or "Oldtown" as it was 
first called, should have been sent with a mes- 
sage to himself does not appear. Henderson 
probably had it in mind to thus prevent ad- 
verse action by absentee landlords from whom 
he could expect nothing but opposition to his 
company, which had for its tenure the slight 
superstructure of a treaty with the Indians 
who had signed away lands to which they had 
no title; at least to lands the tenure of which 
the laws of Virginia did not respect. It is 
perhaps too much to expect from a mere his- 
torian of events to enter into a discussion of 
the intricacies of the original ownership of the 
lands which the present citizens of Kentucky 
claim as their own, either by purchase or by 
descent, with slight regard for the original 
ownership by the first occupants, the Indians. 
However, the Indians had always considered 
Kentucky as a game reservation. The white 
man liked it and took it. That is the whole 

There is no definite reply on record to this 
message borne by Boone and his associates. 
Henderson writes into his Journal what he 
calls "a message received from the proprie- 
tors," which he signs and which McElroy 
terms "as explicit an answer as could be 
framed without making the least reference to 
the petition." This extract is as follows : "To 
give every possible satisfaction to the good 
people, your constituents, we desire to exhibit 
our deed from the Aborigines and first owners 
of the soil of Transylvania, and hope you will 
cause an entry to be made of the exhibition 
in your Journal." 

McElroy continues as follows: "This was 
equivalent to telling the assembly that those 
in whom was vested tlie proprietorship of the 

colony would make such arrangements as they 
chose respecting the granting of land titles, 
though, in form, it was an invitation to the 
representatives of the people to assure them- 
selves that the Transylvania Company was the 
real owner of the territory. To this proposi- 
tion the assembly at once assented and Col- 
onel Henderson personally attended the con- 
vention, with John Farrow, attorney in fact 
for the head warriors or chiefs of the Chero- 
kee Indians' and e.xposed to view the Wataga 
deed of the 17th of March, 1775. The as- 
sembly having inspected this formal and some- 
what verbose document, signed by the three 
great chiefs, Oconestoto (the king), Attacull- 
acullah (Little Carpenter) and Savonooko 
(Raven Warrior), turned their attention to 
the preparation of a formal compact to be 
entered into by the proprietors and the people. 
This compact, signed and sealed on the 27th 
of May, 1775, guarantees the annual election 
of delegates, religious freedom, independence 
of the judiciary and other similar provisions 
for a free government." 

After the return to their stations of those 
who had attended the convention and a recital 
of the manner of the "Lord Proprietor," the 
pioneers who had preceded Henderson into 
the wilderness and who, up to this time, had 
been somewhat in sympathy with his efforts, 
began to have a feeling of alarm and hostility. 
Under hardships and facing dangers such as 
he had never known, they had selected homes 
for themselves, and they now feared that if 
Henderson established his claims they would 
find free government sacrificed and in its stead 
a "proprietary government designed for the 
benefit of the few ;" in other words, Hender- 
son would be lord of the manor and they but 
his vassals. The vassalage idea was quite un- 
popular at that period in Kentucky. 

This feeling of discontent was soon visibly 
apparent. When Colonel Henderson joined 
his forces to those at Boonesborough the 
strength of the garrison was sixty-five. This 



was April 20, 1775. Within a few weeks this 
force was increased to about eighty men, but 
after the '-invention, so great was the discon- 
tent thai'JJiy June 15th the force had dwindled 
to fifty and was steadily declining. 

Virginia was hostile ; of that no doubt was 
left when Lord Dunmore's proclamation was 
issued. Governor Martin of North Carolina 
had left no doubt of his opposition to the 
Wataga treaty. The colonists, most of whom 
had preceded Henderson and his party into 
the new land, were discontented and their op- 
position to Henderson and his schemes grew 
daily more pronounced. Those coming into 
the country from Virginia, North Carolina 
and elsewhere, avoided Henderson and 
Boonesborough and sought homes at other 
places. Some few of the earlier settlers recog- 
nized the authority of Henderson's company 
and paid the charges assessed against them 
without a murmur, believing that they were 
thus securing valid titles to their lands. Oth- 
ers, not so trusting and wiser, relied wholly 
upon their Virginia titles, denouncing Hender- 
son and the proprietary company as impostors. 
The weight of all authority of the period is 
that Henderson was not recognized as of au- 
thority to grant lands, by the original settlers 
who had preceded his coming. That large 
bodies of land were undoubtedly entered un- 
der his authority is not denied but those en- 
tries were made by newcomers. 

Henderson and his associates, recognizing 
the , discontent, formulated regulations con- 
cerning land claims, providing for a General 
Agent of the company who should reside in 
the colony and receive a stated salary out of 
the proceeds of the sale of lands. For some 
reason, not available now, Henderson permit- 
ted Colonel John Williams, rather than him- 
self, to be chosen to this position. It may be 
observed at this point that neither the name of 
Henderson nor this Colonel Williams appears 
anywhere in the records of subsequent battles 
with the Indians in defense of the colony. 

They appear to have had each "an itching 
palm," ratlier than a desire to face danger and 
death in defense of the land which they 
claimed by a title shadowy at its best. 

Williams, as agent, was forbidden to "grant 
any lands adjoining salt springs, gold, silver, 
copper, lead, or sulphur mines, knowing them 
to be such." In all deeds drawn he was di- 
rected to reserve "one-half of all gold, silver, 
copper, lead and sulphur" to the company. 
Along navigable rivers grants had a depth 
twice the length of the water frontage, but the 
settlers resented this not unreasonable provi- 
sion, as they were accustomed to select what- 
ever land they desired and wherever they de- 
sired it. The company also fixed an arbitrary 
price upon the land which, again, had a ten- 
dency to produce a feeling of opposition upon 
the part of prospective and present settlers. 
The present independent spirit of the Ken- 
tuckian may readily be ascribed to the char- 
acter of his ancestors, who brooked no inter- 
ference with what they deemed their just 

Among other important transactions of 
the company at this time was the voting "that 
a present of 2,000 acres of land be made to 
Colonel Daniel Boone, with the thanks of the 
Proprietors for the signal service he had ren- 
dered to the company." This statement gains 
additional force from the indication given that 
the "Kentucky Colonel" began to flourish in 
colonial days and is not, as popularly sup- 
posed, a product of latter day wars and the 
propensity of a peaceful people to distinguish 
certain of their number with a title which, in 
many instances, means that its recipient never 
saw a regiment in line nor heard a hostile 

Henderson and his associates, recognizing 
the powerful eifect upon their plans of the 
openly declared opposition of Virginia and 
North Carolina, made a play for the support 
of the then highest power in the colonies — the 
Continental congress at Philadelphia. A 



memorial to that body was prepared, asking 
that Transylvania be recognized as one of the 
United Colonies. In the Durrett manuscript 
history is a complete copy of this memorial. 
The plea for recognition contained the follow- 
ing "patriotic fireworks," so termed by AIcEl- 
roy: "Having their hearts warmed with the 
same noble spirit that animates the colonies 
and moved with indignation at the late min- 
isterial and parliamentary usurpations, it is 
the earnest wish of the Proprietors of Tran- 
sylvania to be considered by the colonies as 
brothers, engaged in the same great cause of 
liberty and mankind." 

James Hogg, one of the Proprietors, was 
sent with this appeal to the congress with in- 
structions that he ask to be seated in that body 
as the delegate from Transylvania. Hogg 
[iroceeded forthwith to Philadelphia, where he 
arrived October 22, 1775. Some six weeks 
later he reported to Henderson his movements 
and the results of his several interviews with 
prominent delegates, among others with John 
and Samuel Adams, of Massachusetts, whom 
he represents as being pleased with the idea. 
Objection was made, however, that "taking 
under our protection a body of people who 
liave acted in defiance of the King's proclama- 
tion will be looked on as a confirmation of that 
independent spirit with which we are daily 
reproached." Hogg claimed that the memorial 
breathed loyalty to the king. He reports them 
as pleased with the memorial, but with that 
shrewdness characteristic of the Adams fam- 
ily, they discovered the important fact that 
the proposed Transylvania comprised a part of 
the lands embraced in the chartered grant to 
X'irginia, and, withdrawing from further con- 
sideration of the matter, the Adamses very 
properly suggested that Hogg advise with the 
X'irginia delegation before proceeding further. 

Hogg, in pursuance of this advice, placed 
before Thomas Jefferson and George Wythe, 
of the \ irginia delegation, the memorial, to- 
gether with an explanation of his mission and 

the desire of the Proprietors, that he, as one 
of them, be admitted to the congress as the 
delegate from Transylvania. An ■. ;amination 
of the map disclosed to these gentltlaen, as it 
had done to the Adamses, that the Transyl- 
vania lands were within the limits of Vir- 
ginia's chartered rights, and that colony would 
[irobably l>e within its rights were it to claim 
the wiiole of Transylvania. Jefl'erson stated 
that he would not urge interference, however, 
by \'irginia, unless an ettort were made to 
establish an arbitrary or oppressive govern- 
ment within her chartered boundaries. 

Mr. Jefferson refused to consent to an ac- 
knowledgment of Transylvania by the con- 
gress without the approbation of his constitu- 
ents, which Hogg represents him as thinking 
might be obtained. McElroy, in "Kentucky in 
the Nation's History," cjuotes as follows from 
Hogg's report to Colonel Henderson, now in 
the valuable historical manuscript of Colonel 
Durrett: "I was several times with Mr. Dean 
of Connecticut. He says he will send some 
people to see our country, and if their report 
be favorable, he thinks many Connecticut peo- 
ple will join us. This gentleman is a scholar 
and a man of sense and enterprise, and rich, 
and I am apt to believe has some thoughts of 
heading a party of Connecticut adventurers, 
providing things can be made agreeable to him. 
He is recognized (as) a good man, and much 
esteemed in congress ; but he is an enthusiast 
on liberty and wnll have nothing to do with it 
unless he is pleased with our form of govern- 
ment. He is a great admirer of the Connecti- 
cut constitution, and was so good as to favor 
me with a long letter on that subject, a copy of 
which is enclosed. You would be amazed to see 
how much in earnest all these speculative gen- 
tlemen are aljout the plan to be adopted by the 
Transylvanians. They entreat, they pray, that 
we make it a free government, and beg that no 
mercenary or ambitious views in the Proprie- 
tors may prevent it. Quit rents, they say, is a 
mark of vassalage, and hope that they shall 



not be established in Transylvania. They even 
threaten us witli their opposition, if we do not 
act on liberal principles when we have it so 
much in our power to render ourselves immor- 
tal. Many of them advised a law against ne- 
groes." Mr. Hogg's letter ends here, without 
further details as to his mission, but it is 
known from other sources that he failed to re- 
ceive official recognition and was never seated 
as the delegate from Transylvania in the Con- 
tinental congress, which body rejected the me- 
morial borne by him. 

This result is directly traceable to the re- 
nowned Patrick Henry, who employed his 
splendid talents against the entire Transylva- 
nia project. It seems that Mr. Hogg did not 
properly estimate the character of Henry and, 
in effect, put into use, or attempted to do so, 
methods that in more modern days, have been 
used with more success in certain instances. 
In a word, he practically offered Henry a 
bribe. In a deposition by Patrick Henry, 
given June 4. i///. "the (leponent fiu'- 
ther says that William Henderson and his 
partners, very soon after their supposed pur- 
chase, joined in a letter to this deponent in 
which was contained, as this deponent thinks, a 
distant, though plain hint, that he, the depo- 
nent, might be a partner with them." Henry 
refers to other messages to the same effect re- 
ceived from the Henderson company, all of 
them being refused with "the strongest disap- 
probation of their whole proceeding, giving as 
a reason that the people of \'irginia had a right 
to the back country derived from their charter 
and the blood and treasure expended on that 

The failure of Hogg to receive recognition 
at Philadelphia was not the only blow that 
struck the ambitious and avaricious Transyl- 
vania Company at this time. Men who had en- 
tered lands at the land office of the company 
were growing restless under the many restric- 
tions and petty annoyances of the Lords Pro- 
prietors. Eighty-four men who had entered 

lands in the office by Colonel Williams became 
dissatisfied, and were in fear of loss of their 
money and lands by reason of insecure titles. 
These men united in a petition to the Vir- 
ginia convention, stating that they had been 
induced l^y a show of easy terms to enter lands 
in the Transylvania Company's alleged region, 
believing that they were receiving good titles. 
They further stated that the company had "ad- 
vanced the price of the purchase money" — a 
somewhat singular statement, as the company, 
though claiming much authority, probably 
would not have asserted the power to fix the 
"price of money." It may be assumed that the 
petitioners meant that the company had ad- 
vanced the price of the lands they pretended to 
sell, especially as they go on to state that the 
company had "increased the fees to entry and 
surveying to a most exhorbitant rate, rising in 
their demands as the settlers increase, or their 
insatiable avarice shall dictate." They go fur- 
ther and state the belief that the territory 
claimed by the Transylvania Company lies 
within the boundaries set out in the Fort Stan- 
wix treaty and that the king will take steps at 
some time to assert his title thereto. The pe- 
titioners state their fear that they are in 
danger of being deprived of their lands and of 
being forced to repurchase them, should a new 
proprietor, with a deed from the king, assert 
ownership in the disputed territory. For these 
reasons the petitioners plead to be taken under 
the protection of the Virginia convention, stat- 
ing their belief that they are in fact still a part 
of that colony, and begging protection from 
the impositions of the men calling themselves 

This petition was received by the Virginia 
convention in March, 1776, but definite action 
thereon was prevented by more momentous 
questions. The Indians of the northwest re- 
ceiving news of hositlities between the Ameri- 
can colonies and England, renewed the bar- 
barous warfare temporarily ended by the bat- 
tle at Point Pleasant, British agents going 



among them and inciting them to deeds of vio- 
lence. If Virginia went to the defense of the 
colonies in Kentucky, the Transylvania Com- 
pany must be ignored. If Virginia declined to 
aid them, then the Transylvania people must 
arrange their own defense. This was a ques- 
tion of great moment ; how great was not then 

recognized by the Virginia authorities. It was 
solved by a man who was later to play a great 
part in the making of history and to give to 
Virginia a great territory, free from Indian or 
English influence. George Rogers Clark ap- 
peared upon the scene at this critical moment. 


Clark in Command of Militia — Refuses British Military Commission — Opposition 
TO Transylvania Scheme — Delegate to Virginia Assembly — Historic "Five Hun- 
dred Pounds of Powder" — A Double N'ictory — Transylvania Dies; Kentucky 

George Rogers Clark, the winner of the 
Northwest territory for the Union that was to 
be, came to be a Kentucky colonist at the mo- 
ment when the Indians, forgetting past defeats 
and the treaty they had signed, put on the war 
paint again, won by specious promises made by 
wily agents of the British government, and be- 
gan their savage warfare anew among the peo- 
ple on the southern bank of the Ohio river, 
whom they had declared in solemn treaty they 
would never more molest. 

The Indian is not to be wholly blamed for 
this ; he was a savage ; the land on the south- 
ern bank of the Ohio he claimed as his own, 
as his hunting ground, and the provisions of a 
treaty, signed by hini when the burden of de- 
feat laid heavily upon him, meant less to him 
than to the white signatories. 

The English agents were blamable ; they 
were white men, capable and educated ; they 
knew the solemnity of a treaty and the force 
of its provisions ; they knew that the men, 
women and children of Kentucky to whose 
murder they were inciting the savages, were 
of English blood, bone of their bone, flesh of 
their flesh ; yet they drove the Indians against 
them and to deeds of violence, rapine and mur- 
der unequalled by the savage inhabitants of 
India who, driven to desperation by British 
tyranny and intolerance, rose against their op- 
pressors and wrote into the history of England 
in India the bloodiest chapters of the career 
vol. 1-8. 33 

of the Island Kingdom, the Mistress of the 

Clark first visited Kentucky in 1775, and 
had so impressed himself upon the colonists as 
a man of force and character that they placed 
him in command of their militia. After a short 
stay, he returned to Virginia, full of knowl- 
edge of the situation in Kentucky ; the neces- 
sity for the development of a system of de- 
fense not only against the Indians but against 
their unnatural allies, the English. Further- 
more, he opposed the Transylvania idea and 
believed that Virginia should reject all the 
claims of the Lords Proprietors. This meant 
the early demise of the ambitious designs of 
Colonel Henderson and his associates. With 
Patrick Henry, the sturdy statesman and ora- 
tor, the advocate of liberty at any price, oppos- 
ing their schemes and refusing craftily ten- 
dered bribes ; with George Rogers Clark, the 
born soldier and patriot, declaring in opposi- 
tion to all their schemes, the ambitious Pro- 
prietors saw their principality melt away and 
their dreams of vast fortune vanish into thin 

Clark was still a young man, of but twenty- 
four vears : he had shown such capacity and 
gallantry in Lord Dunmore's war against the 
Indians as to win the offer of a commission in 
the British army, which, with a prescience of 
coming events, he had declined, feeling, even 
then, that the day was not distant when he 



would have the opportunity to draw his sword 
against England and in favor of the people of 
his own country, oppressed and distressed by 
the British government. 

Clark, as has been stated, was on his second 
visit to Kentucky when news came of the be- 
ginning of hostilities between England and 
the American colonies and of the renewed 
activity of the Indians against the people of 

Recognizing the immediate necessity for a 
close and definite connection with Virginia, if 
the perils of the moment were to be properly 
and successfully met, Clark proposed that a 
representative assembly of delegates from the 
various scattered stations of the colony should 
be held at Harrodsburg. Along with the ques- 
tion of defense went that of an utter repudia- 
tion of the Colony of Transylvania. Clark 
minced no words in declaring his views. Brave 
and manly soldier that he was, he recognized 
that safety for the few scattered stations in 
Kentucky lay only under the protection of Vir- 
ginia and he had little or no sympathy for the 
Transylvanians whose entire efforts since set- 
ting up their alleged government, had been in 
the direction of acquiring money at the ex- 
pense of its dupes who had trusted its high 
sounding promises. 

Clark declared that delegates should be sent 
to Virginia to urge that colony to take under 
its protection the Kentucky stations and failing 
that, the lands of Kentucky should be pledged 
to secure funds for protection, to obtain set- 
tlers and to establish an Independent State. It 
will be observed that Clark nowhere mentions 
the Lords Proprietors nor Transylvania. With 
him, as a Virginian, it was Virginia first, and. 
failing support there, an independent state. 
Nowhere was there an intimation of submis- 
sion to King George. 

When the Harrodsburg convention proposed 
by Clark, assembled June 6. 1776, he had not 
arrived, but when he finally appeared, it was to 
find that he and one Gabriel John Jones had 

been named as delegates from Kentucky to the 
Mrginia assembly. He agreed to proceed to 
Williamsburg and present the claims of the 
colonists, though without any expectancy that 
himself and his colleague, Jones, would be 
seated as delegates. Provided with a memo- 
rial to the Virginia assembly Clark and Jones 
set forth upon their perilous journe}' to Will- 
iamsburg during which Clark is on record as 
saying he "suffered more torment than I ever 
experienced before or since ;" which is a force- 
ful expression when one recalls the perils and 
hardships of his future experiences in the serv- 
ice of the colonies and his victories in the 
northwest. Reaching Charlottesville on his 
eastern journey, Clark found that the assem- 
bly had adjourned. Jones, who was something 
of a neglible quantity as a delegate, went over 
to the settlements on the Holston, while Clark 
pursued his journey and the purpose which 
had brought him across the mountains to Vir- 
ginia, and in Hanover county sought and se- 
cured an interview with Patrick Henry, who 
had become governor of Virginia. 

Clark made a full statement of the condi- 
tions then existing in Kentucky, and it is very 
probable gave much pleasure to Governor 
Henry by expressing his frank opinion of 
Colonel Henderson and his fellow-proprietors 
of Transylvania, with whom, it will be recalled, 
Henry had an experience at Philadelphia. 
Afterward he introduced Clark to the execu- 
tive council, to whom the latter at once ad- 
dressed his request for five hundred pounds of 
powder to be used in defense of the people in 
Kentucky. This was a shrewd and diplomatic 
move of the young soldier. Once Virginia 
took steps towards the defense of the people 
beyond the mountains, many of them her own 
sons, not only would they be protected, but this 
practical step towards asserting a proprietary 
right in the land they occupied would be a blow 
to Transylvania and lead to the downfall of 
Henderson and his ambitious designs. The 
council did not at once agree to Clark's re- 



quest, declaring that its powers did not extend 
so far. Clark, however, was not to be denied ; 
he knew the dire need of his associates in Ken- 
tucky — he had journeyed through many diffi- 
culties and dangers to Virginia in their behalf, 
and was not to be put off by pleas of lack of 
jurisdiction. He pressed his request with such 
insistence that the council finally concluded 
that it would assume the responsibility of lend- 
ing him five hundred pounds of powder, hold- 
ing him responsible in the event that the house 
of burgesses did not uphold the transaction. 
Clark wanted that powder very badly, but not 
on these terms. In addition to his desire for 
the powder for defensive purposes, he desired 
that Virginia should assume, as of right and 
duty, the defense of the western frontier. He 
returned the order of the council with a brief 
note in which he declared his intention to re- 
turn at once to Kentucky, there to set up an in- 
dependent state, declaring for the benefit of the 
council that "a country which is not worth de- 
fending is not worth claiming." It was Clark, 
the diplomat, who penned that indignant state- 
ment accompanying his refusal to accept a loan 
of powder. He knew the members of the 
council better than they knew themselves and 
acted accordingly, the result being that Clark 
was called a second time before the council and 
on August 23, 1776, he was given another or- 
der for five hundred pounds of powder to be 
conveyed by Virginia officials to Pittsburg, "to 
be safely kept and delivered to George Rogers 
Clark, or his order, for the use of the said in- 
habitants of Kentucky." 

Clark had won a double victory, in that he 
had secured the much needed powder and 
what, in his view, was more important, an ex- 
pression from Virginia that it was her duty to 
defend the western frontier and its brave pio- 
neer occupants. This first and important step 
he hoped would soon be followed by a direct 
assertion of Virginia's authority over the terri- 
tory in Kentucky. Overjoyed with the success 
thus far attendant upon his efforts, Clark 

wrote to his friends in Kentucky requesting 
them to receive the powder at Pittsburg and 
safely convey it to Kentucky that it might be 
used in defense against the expected savage 
forays under English guidance. Clark himself, 
remained in Virginia awaiting the reassembling 
of the assembly. Joined by his colleague, Ga- 
briel John Jones, he proceeded to Williams- 
burg and presented the memorial of the Ken- 
tucky colonists to the assembly. Once again 
victory was with Clark ; the personality which 
in the near future was to mark him so dis- 
tinctly as a soldier now stood him in good stead 
as the civil representative of his people. The 
Transylvania Company knew that Clark and 
Jones were in Virginia, claiming rights as dele- 
gates to the assembly from "the western por- 
tion of Fincastle county," and had put forth 
every effort of their inventive minds to destroy 
the effect of their pleas. Notwithstanding the 
efforts of Colonel Henderson and his asso- 
ciates, the Virginia assembly on December 7, 
^77(^< passed an act which divided the county 
of Fincastle, which covered a vast and not 
altogether well-defined western territory, into 
three sections to be thereafter known as Ken- 
tucky county, Washington county and Mont- 
gomery county, Virginia. 

December 7, 1776, may therefore be claimed 
as the anniversary of Kentucky, as it undoubt- 
edly was the day when Transylvania met its 
death blow. That was a rather wide and ex- 
pansive territory, which the Virginia assembly 
called Kentucky county, and which is practi- 
cally the state of Kentucky of today, but it 
was not wide enough nor expansive enough 
for the sovereignty of ^'irginia and of the 
Lords Proprietors of Transylvania to occupy 
together ; so the latter passed out of existence 
and have never nor can they ever have a suc- 
cessor in our country. 

To George Rogers Clark be all the honor, 
for to him it is largely due that the Kentucky 
of today exists. Yet how few of the inhabi- 
tants of the state know the great value of his 


services at a critical period in our history, or lis of the state, which he helped to politically 

the tremendous effect of his subsequent mili- found and so faithfully served. Nor do they 

tary successes upon the history of our country, know that outside the pages of history there 

Fewer still know that he sleeps in a humble has been practically no recognition of his great 

grave not many miles from the great metropo- services. 


Bringing the Powder to Kentucky — At Harrodsburg — Death and Disaster — In- 
dians Defeated— True Pioneers Rejoice — Clark the Man of the Hour. 

Clark having won his double victory in se- 
curing the powder unconditionally and defeat- 
ing the plans of Henderson, was preparing to 
start upon his return to Kentucky, when he 
learned that no one had appeared at Pittsburg 
to take charge of the powder which had cost 
him so much in danger and labor. It was not 
an easy matter to transport this powder over 
the mountains to Kentucky. Danger was at- 
tended upon every step, since through spies, 
or otherwise, the Indians had learned that it 
had been granted Clark and was to be trans- 
mitted to Kentucky. But danger never caused 
Clark to hesitate ; it rather spurred him to ac- 

Accompanied by his colleague, Gabriel John 
Jones, who appears to have been always 
around but never doing anything in particular, 
Clark set out for Pittsburg with the determin- 
ation to get that powder safely to Kentucky 
at no matter what cost. The safety of the few- 
scattered stations was dependent upon it. 
Reaching Pittsburg, Clark and Jones secured 
a small boat into which the powder was placed 
and began their long journey down the Ohio 
river to the Kentuck)- settlements. They suc- 
ceeded in escaping the Indians by whom they 
were pursued and who knew what cargo they 
carried. The savages unable to keep pace with 
Clark's boat by water, took to the land, but 
without success, and were far behind when the 
latter landed at a point near where Maysville 
now stands, the landing-place being then 
known as Three Islands. Entering the mouth 

of Limestone creek, Clark concealed parts of 
his precious cargo at each of several points 
along its heavily wooded shore, allowing his 
boat after removal of the powder to drift down 
the stream and into the river to mislead the 
pursuing Indians. 

Clark and his eight companions, the names 
of none of whom are known, other than that 
of his colleague, Jones, then set out for the 
settlement at Harrodsburg. While journeying 
through the forest they met at the cabin of 
John Hinkson, a party of surveyors, who 
stated that, owing to the depredations of the 
Indians, many of the small stations had been 
abandoned. These surveyors also informed 
Clark that Colonel John Todd was somewhere 
in the neighborhood in command of a body of 
men sufficiently large, if joined with his own, 
to safely convey the powder to the settlements. 
Clark sent Jones and five boatmen to find Col- 
onel Todd and his party while he,- with two 
other men, went forward to McClelland's 
Fort, where he found the garrison so weak- 
ened by desertions, following the renewal of 
Indian depredations, as to be barely sufficient 
to retain the fort ; none could therefore be 
spared for the purpose of securing the pre- 
cious powder. At this post, Clark met with 
Simon Kenton, who was to play so important 
a part in the future of Kentucky, and under 
his guidance hastened to Harrodsburg, where 
he secured a guard of adequate strength and 
retraced his steps towards Hinkson's where 
disaster had preceded him. .-^fter his depar- 




ture for Harrodsburg. Colonel Todd with some 
five or six men had arrived at Hinkson's and 
upon hearing of the hidden powder, had re- 
quested Jones to lead him to the places of de- 

December 25. 1776, as Todd and his party 
of ten approached the banks of the Limestone 
to secure the powder, they were fired upon by 
a body of Indians commanded by Pluggy, a 
noted Mingo chief, who had discovered the 
abandoned boat and followed Clark's trail. 
Jones, poor fellow ! who had been Clark's 
faithful shadow and had uncomplainingly 
played second fiddle in the Virginia negotia- 
tions, and William Graydon, were killed and 
two others captured, while Colonel Todd and 
his remaining men escaped to McClelland's 
station, where Clark and Kenton soon after- 
wards found them. This wa.s a welcome re- 
inforcement to the weakened garrison. 

One week after the killing of Jones, on 
New Year's Day, 1777, Pluggy. believing the 
fort to be but weakly garrisoned, led his war- 
riors to an attack upon it, but suffered a re- 
pulse, the savages being driven off after the 
killing of their chief, Pluggy. Of the garri- 
son, McClelland and one other were killed. 
After the repulse of the savages, Clark hastily 
secured the hidden powder which was safely 
taken to Harrodsburg. McClelland's station 
was abandoned, some going to the stockades 
while others, not being true pioneers and hav- 
ing no desire for further conflicts with the 
Indians, returned across the mountains to the 
older settlements whence they came. 

The rejoicing of the pioneers over the suc- 
cess of Clark in securing the powder and 
safely conveying it to them, was not so great 
as their satisfaction caused by his victory over 
Colonel Henderson and his associates. These 
brave men had pushed out into the wilderness, 
in the face of savage opposition, to make 
homes for themselves, when they had been 
confronted by Henderson with quit rents and 
titles which might or not stand the scrutiny of 

the courts. They desired indefensible titles to 
the lands entered by them and feared that the 
Lords Proprietors could not give them. When 
Clark returned from Virginia, they not only 
saw the Henderson idea dissolve into the air, 
but they saw something tangible behind their 
titles ; they saw Virginia claiming the territory 
in which their lands were found; and more 
than that, they saw Virgmia ready to assert 
that claim and to protect it. More than all 
else, they saw George Rogers Clark, the sol- 
dier-pioneer, ever ready, ever willing, to go 
out in defense of their rights ; to face the sav- 
age foe ; to endure any hardship ; to do all, to 
dare all, that might be necessary to not only 
defend the territory they occupied but to ven- 
ture beyond and seize from the enemy that 
which he claimed as his own. 

Before the coming of Clark, the pioneer 
conducted his own campaigns. He went out 
to-day and killed any stray Indian whom he 
miglit meet and returned to his station. This 
method of disposing of the opposing forces 
had its limitations. Of course if every pio- 
neer went out every day and every pioneer 
killed an Indian every day, it was only a ques- 
tion of mathematics as to when the Indian 
would be eliminated from the problem. But 
sometimes the Indian killed the pioneer, which 
interfered with the problem of arithmetical 
progression. Clark's return changed these 
conditions, because the Indians had changed 
their methods under the guidance of their 
British teachers. Whereas, they had before 
gone among the white settlers of Kentucky in 
small parties, burning, robbing and murdering 
in outlying stations, they now came in larger 
and more compact bodies, frequently under 
the command of British officers, and con- 
ducted their campaigfns in keeping with the 
rules of recognized warfare, save in the in- 
stances where they were successful in defeat- 
ing the settlers, on which occasions they gave 
way to their savage instincts and ruthlessly 
tortured and slaughtered their helpless cap- 


lives. It is to the everlasting disgrace of our from conferences with the settlers in Ken- 
own kith and kin, our English forefathers, that tucky, with whom he conferred, and planned 
they permitted the torture of white prisoners an expedition for their relief. 
bv their Indian allies. Clark knew of this 


Hamilton, Clark's Opponent — Rescue of Three Kentucky Daughters — First Mar- 
riage IN Kentucky — Harrodsburg Marked for Destruction — Indians Thwarted — 
Futile Attack on Boonesborough — Logan's Bravery and Wisdom. 

Clark correctly believed that the bands of 
savages who were harrying Kentucky were in 
British pay and under British control and that 
they were used in the rear of the colonies to 
draw oflf protecting columns from the Conti- 
nental army, and with this correct view he 
knew, with the intuitive knowledge of the 
born soldier, that a counter-move should be 
made. To this end he proposed a campaign 
into the enemy's country, and set about its ar- 

Col. Henry Hamilton, of the British army, 
had been assigned by Governor General Carle- 
ton to the command of the post at Detroit, 
which included a large territory under savage 
control. Hamilton seems by nature to have 
been fitted for savage warfare. He had, ac- 
cording to his own statement, sent out fifteen 
Indian expeditions against the white settlers 
and it has been claimed that he offered prizes 
for white scalps, though this has not been def- 
initely proven, but it is known that he joined 
in the war songs of returning Indian maraud- 
ers, during which they gloatingly exhibited the 
scalps of the white men, women and children 
whom they had slain, though these victims 
were, like himself, of English blood in the 

Clark, not to be taken unaware, sent out 
spies to range up and down the Ohio river, 
to report from the outlying stations the move- 
ments of the Indians, and these spies were of 
great benefit to him and to the colonists up to 

the time of 1777, during the spring of which 
Hamilton concluded that the time had arrived 
for a crushing blow to be delivered to the 
Kentucky stations of Boonesborough, Har- 
rodsburg and Logan's Fort, thus hoping to 
drive the colonists back to Airginia and to give 
back to the Indians their hunting grounds. 

The people at Boonesborough had enjoyed 
a peaceful existence for some time but there 
was to be a rude awakening. There were but 
few women who had braved the dangers of 
the western frontier, but there were some 
heroic in spirit as their brave husbands and 
fathers. In July, 1777, there occurred an 
event which wrought the gallant pioneers to 
desperation and boded ill for any Indian who 
fell into their hands. On the 14th of -July, 
two daughters of Col. Richard Calloway, Eliz- 
abeth and Frances, and Jemima, the daughter 
of Daniel Boone, the first two just budding 
into womanhood and the latter but fourteen 
years old, ventured out of the fort at Boones- 
borough for a boat ride on the Kentucky riv- 
er, all unsuspicious of danger. They were 
surprised by a band of Indians lurking on the 
opposite shore and made prisoners, though not 
before Elizabeth Calloway, possessed of the 
true courage of the pioneer, had inflicted a 
serious wound with her paddle upon one of 
her captors. The cries of the captive girls 
attracted the attention of those in the fort and 
immediate steps were taken to rescue them. 
Boone and Calloway were temporarily absent, 




but soon returned. Within the fort were 
three young men, lovers of the captives. 
Samuel Henderson was the betrothed lover 
of Elizabeth Calloway and the nuptial day had 
been fixed; Col. John Holden was the lover 
of Fannie Calloway, and Flanders Calloway 
of Jemima Boone, though that young lady 
was but fourteen years old at that time. Our 
forefathers and especially our foremothers, 
did not postpone matrimony unduly in those 
days when our state was young as they were. 
A party of eight men. including the three 
lovers of the girl captives, at once placed 
themselves under the command of Daniel 
Boone and started to their rescue, a second 
party on horseback following after. Night- 
fall brought the pursuit to a temporary end, 
as they were unable to follow the trail in the 
darkness, but at dawn of day they were again 
in pursuit with Boone at their head, his un- 
rivalled knowledge of the Indian and his 
methods standing them in good stead. The 
Indians fled northward, evidentl}' intent upon 
crossing the Ohio to one of their villages, fol- 
lowing a route which took them near to the 
Winchester, North Middletown and Carlisle 
of to-day. Tuesday morning, the third day 
after the capture of the young women, they 
halted near Blue Licks, closely followed by 
the party under Boone. Elizabeth Calloway, 
a true frontier girl, with a view to marking 
the trail, had now and again broken twigs on 
the trees and bushes along the line of march, 
which, being observed by the Indians, caused 
her to be threatened with death. Not dis- 
mayed by the uplifted tomahawk, she re- 
frained from further efforts to thus mark 
their trail and, as opportunity presented, tore 
off and dropped small portions of her wear- 
ing apparel. She had previously refused to 
exchange her shoes for moccasins, as her fel- 
low captives had done, and as opportunity 
presented, she had dug deep into the trail the 
heels of her shoes, hoping thus to attract the 
attention of those who followed in pursuit. 

They were required by the savages to walk 
apart through the brush and to wade up and 
down through such water as they crossed, hop- 
ing thus to hide their trail and deceive the 
pursuers as to their number. 

By dawn on Tuesday, Boone and his party 
of pursuers were again on the trail and soon 
saw smoke arising over the trees, indicating 
that the Indians were preparing their morning 
meal. In Smith's "History of Kentucky" is 
found the following record of the rescue of 
the prisoners. 

"Col. Floyd says in a letter written a few 
days afterward : 'Our study had been how to 
get the prisoners without giving the Indians 
time to murder them after being discovered. 
We saw each other nearly at the same time. 
Four of us fired and all rushed on them, by 
which they were prevented from carrying any- 
thing away except one shot-gun without am- 
munition. Col. Boone and myself had pretty 
fair shots and they hastily fled. I am con- 
vinced I shot one through the body. The one 
he shot dropped his gun ; mine had none. 
The place was covered with thick cane, and 
being so much elated recovering the poor, lit- 
tle broken-hearted girls, we were prevented 
from making any further search. We sent 
the Indians off almost naked, some without 
their moccasins and none of them with knife 
or tomahawk. After the girls came to them- 
selves enough to speak, they told us there 
were five Indians, four Shawnees and one 
Cherokee ; they could speak pretty good Eng- 
lish and said they were going to the Shawnee 
towns. The war-club we got was like those 
we have seen of that nation, and several words 
of their language which the girls retained 
were of the Shawnee tribe.' " 

It was afterwards learned that but one of 
the Indians in this party ever returned to his 
tribe, which indicates that the firing of the 
rescuers was more deadly than was supposed 
by Col. Floyd. 

Less than a month after this capture and 



rescue, in fact on August "th, Samuel Hen- 
derson and Miss Elizabeth Calloway were 
married, the ceremony being by Squire Boone, 
an ordained minister of the Baptist church, 
and thus in the midst of the forest, in constant 
danger of death or capture at the hands of 
the savages who surrounded them, occurred 
the first marriage in Kentucky. Some time 
afterwards the other young couples were also 
marric<l, thus setting a good example to those 
who were to come after them, and at the same 
time observing the scriptural exhortation to 
"multiply and replenish the earth." And they 
did it. There was no race suicide in the days 
of our forefathers in Kentucky. 

This diversion was for the purpose of stat- 
ing an interesting incident of the life of the 
pioneers. Kentucky contains today many 
good people in whose veins courses the blood 
of the brave young girls who were the sub- 
jects of the turning away from the course of 
the narrative of British intrusion into the af- 
fairs of the colonists. 

Hamilton kept constantly informed as to 
the stations in Kentucky, selected Harrods- 
burg for the first attack by his Indian allies. 
Hamilton was playing a double game, permis- 
sible in warfare. He was not only retarding 
the settlement of Kentucky but was, by the 
active use of his Indian allies, preventing the 
sending eastward of forces to reinforce the 
Continental army which sadly needed them. 

When his Indian forces, commanded by 
Chief Blackfish, arrived in the vicinity of 
Harrodsburg, they came upon one James Ray 
and his associates who were members of a 
surveying party, of whom none but Ray es- 
caped, it would seem almost by the interposi- 
tion of Divine Providence. Closely pursued 
by the savages, Ray, who was a noted athlete 
and superior even to the Indians, as a runner, 
made his way to the fort and gave the alarm. 
The proper steps for the protection of the 
station were at once taken, the fighting force 
being organized and provisions and water col- 

lected. Of the companions of James Ray, 
who had been left behind when he made his 
successful run to the station, William Ray was 
killed, William Coomes escaped capture and 
afterwards joined his comrades at the fort, 
while Thomas Shores was captured by the In- 
dians, who kept him among them for years, 
but he finally returned to his friends. 

The forces who had attacked the fort at 
Harrodsburg attempted by artifice to draw its 
occupants without its protection by setting 
fire to an outlying cabin. \Mien the settlers 
came out to extinguish this fire the savages 
swarmed all about them. The whites at once 
began a retreat, each man for himself, and 
each protecting himself as far as possible with 
his trusty rifle without which none ever trust- 
ed himself outside the stockade. As the re- 
treating forces drew near, the gates were 
opened and all passed within to safety. 

The savages, knowing the strength of the 
fort, were not inclined to make a direct at- 
tack and accordingly withdrew hoping to find 
some smaller stations less strongly protected. 
April 15th they appeared at Boonesborough to 
the number of one hundred, where they began 
an attack. There were but twenty-two guns 
in the fort, but they were held and aimed by 
gallant men and with no thought of surrender 
the brave fellows fought with such excellent 
efl^ect that at the end of two days' fighting, the 
Indians drew off their forces, abandoning the 
siege and taking with them their dead and 

They next appeared before Logan's Fort, 
upon which they made an unexpected attack 
while the women of the fort, guarded by the 
men, were engaged in milking the cows. One 
man was killed and two wounded in this sud- 
den attack before the men and women could 
gain the protection of the stockade. Once 
within the gates, it was found that one of the 
wounded men had been left behind and was at 
the mercy of the savages. This man was seen 
from the stockade to raise himself with much 



difficulty, from the ground and after stagger- 
ing a few steps forward, fall again. Not only 
was he in view of those in the fort, but of 
the savages as well. The latter held their fire 
in the expectancy of a party coming out to the 
relief of the wounded man, upon wIidui they 
expected to fire with probably fatal results. 
The garrison force had been reduced by casu- 

and the gate was opened, the two men passing 
through, but Martin's courage cooled and be- 
fore the gate was closed he sprang back to 
safety within the stockade, leaving Logan 
alone to attempt the rescue. This brave man, 
undaunted, made his way to the wounded pio- 
neer, raised him upon his shoulders and. 
escaping a shower of bullets from the savages, 

Kf.xtuckv's First Fort, Buoni-.^i:ukul g ii, Fkki ihn in 1775 nv D.wiel Boone. 

alties to but twelve efl:'ective men and. though 
the sympathy of every one was with the 
wounded man. it seemed impossible to afford 
him assistance. 

Finally the gallant Col. Benjamin Logan de- 
cided to make an effort to rescue his suft'er- 
ing comrade, an.d called for volunteers to aid 
him. It seemed like going out to certain death 
and these brave pioneers hesitated to answer 
Logan's call. One of them, however. (John 
Martin), at length agreed to accompany him 

carried him to safety within the walls of the 
fort, where he was received with the enthusi- 
astic cheers of the little garrison. Colonel 
Logan was a tower of strength to the strug- 
gling pioneers, and to him is due the highest 
praise not only for his many courageous acts 
but for his wisdom in council. The name of 
Logan is a part of the history of the common- 
wealth, and those of the name who came after 
him have worthily upheld the manly traditions 
of the familv. 


Kentucky Almost Deserted — Raise Siege of Logan's Fort — Clark Gets Reliable In- 
formation — Military Aid From Virginia — Clark's Two Sets of Instructions — 
Land Grants to Volunteers — Clark's Expedition Reaches Louisville. 

Though failing to reduce any of the sta- 
tions or to inflict more than temporary dam- 
age, these Indian attacks had in part accom- 
plished Colonel Ham.ilton's purpose, in that 
they had checked western settlement. In this, 
however, he had unconsciously worked to the 
interests of the struggling Colonies, who were 
battling with England's power on the eastern 
frontier. The young men of Virginia and 
North Carolina who, but for this renewal of 
Indian warfare in Kentucky, might have come 
out to the new land in search of homes, found 
an outlet for their youthful enthusiasm in 
another direction and enlisted in the Conti- 
nental army, thus becoming important factors 
in the working out of the destiny which was 
finally to add a new government and a new 
world power to histor}'. 

But Hamilton had partially succeeded in his 
efforts to restore Kentucky to the Indians and 
to the wilderness. By January, 1778, Ken- 
tucky was practically deserted, save for the 
three stations of Boonesborough, Logan's 
Fort and Harrodsburg, whose armament did 
not e.xceed one hundred guns, save when oc- 
casional visits were made by Virginia militia, 
while the entire population — men, women and 
children — did not number more than two hun- 
dred persons. But what splendid souls these 
were ; braving everj- danger, suffering every 
hardship, uncomplainingly they wrought at 
the task they had assigned to themselves, that 
of laying strongly the foundations of a new 

commonwealth ; and they never stopped until 
their high purpose had been accomplished. 

Logan's Fort experienced all the horrors of 
Indian investment which followed, the crafty 
savages using every device known to their sys- 
tem of warfare to lure the whites without 
their gates. Especially did they pretend to re- 
treat, hoping that the whites would follow into 
their ambuscades, but in this they were un- 
successful. Failing in this expedient, they 
next sought to cut off the supplies of food 
and water by preventing any of the occupants 
of the fort from passing out or in. They held 
the fort in close siege for weeks, but finally in 
August Colonel Bowman's advance guard 
came into Kentucky county and began its 
march to the relief of the beleaguered fort. 
The Indians, learning of the coming of rein- 
forcements, raised the siege of Logan's Fort 
and prepared for a retreat, but in doing this, 
no doubt under the advice of some British of- 
ficer with them, they ambuscaded the advance 
guard of Bowman's forces, firing upon and 
killing several of them. Upon one of these 
they placed copies of a proclamation signed by 
Col. Henry Hamilton, offering protection to 
all Americans who would subscribe to the 
oath of allegiance to King George III, and 
threatening vengeance against all who refused 
to subscribe to such oath. Many years later, 
in the War between the States, the descend- 
ants of these gallant pioneers had offered to 
them like advantages or punishment, as the 




case might be, which offer many of them 
bravely declined, preferring to endure impris- 
onment rather than forswear themselves. 

The offer of immunity from Hamilton was 
found by one of the fellow-soldiers of the 
dead man who, properly, took it to Col. Lo- 
gan who concealed it, fearing that his men, 
worn out by long service, anxiety and priva- 
tion, might be tempted by the promise of im- 

George Rogers Clark, then the only real 
military genius of the western frontier, 
searching for the best means of securing the 
stations in Kentucky from attack, decided that 
the forts of the British in the northwest 
should be attacked and reduced. But he must 
have definite information as to the location 
and garrison of these several stations before 
making an effort to capture them. To this 
end he sent two spies into the Northwestern 
territory with instructions to thoroughly in- 
vestigate conditions there and, as soon as pos- 
sible, make a report to him. On the return 
of these men, Clark learned the truth of what 
he had all the time suspected : That the Brit- 
ish at Detroit were responsible for the Indian 
attacks. He also conceived the idea, based 
upon the reports of his scouts, that he could 
capture these posts without the use of large 
bodies of troops. He learned that the numer- 
ous French inhabitants of the territory in 
question were disposed to be friendly toward 
the Americans, though the British had used 
every effort to prejudice them against the Vir- 
ginia and Kentucky people, whom they repre- 
sented as more barbarous than tlie Indians. 
Clark was encouraged by this information and 
believed that he could ally the French with the 
American cause, if they could be removed 
from the influence of the British emissaries. 
With this belief in mind, which he kept en- 
tirely to himself. Clark, on October ist, set 
out for Williamsburg, \'irginia, where he ar- 
rived some two months later, and at once met 
Governor Patrick Henry. When Clark last 

met Henry, his modest request was for five 
hundred pounds of powder, which, as has been 
seen, he secured and safely conveyed to the 
beleaguered colonists in Kentucky. He now 
came with a more ambitious scheme: A de- 
scent upon the posts of the enemy north of 
the Ohio river and the capture or destruction 
of his forces. To this end, he asked for both 
men and money to fit out an expedition for the 
performance of what no one else had dreamed 
of and which seemed almost impossible. 

Clark says, in his memoirs, that Governor 
Henry was, at first, fond of the scheme, but 
feared the result of sending a force to so 
great a distance into the enemy's country. 
Nothing but secrecy, he claimed, could make 
it a success, and to lay Clark's proposal before 
the assembly would be to make it public and 
ere long the Indians would know of it and 
would prepare themselves to resist the pro- 
posed movement in which, of course, they 
would have the assistance of their British al- 
lies. But Governor Henr}' knew Clark and 
had confidence in his militar>' judgment and 
sagacity. Therefore he did not decline his 
proposition, though for the reasons stated, he 
did not suljmit it to the assembly. He did 
better by calling together Thomas Jefferson, 
George Wythe and George Mason, to whom 
he requested Clark to submit his views. 
These stalwart patriots and statesmen consid- 
ered Clark's plans for several weeks, finally 
approving them and on January 2. 1778, com- 
municating them with a favorable decision, to 
the council, urging the taking of all necessary 
steps at once and with the utmost secrecy, for 
their execution. 

On the same day Colonel Clark received 
two sets of instructions, the first being a Wind 
to the enemy, while the second was for his 
private use and contained his real instructions. 
For copies of these two sets of instructions 
thanks are due to McElroy's "Kentucky in the 
Nation's History." The first paper intended 
as a blind is as follows : 



"Lieut. Col. George Rogers Cl.\rk : — You are 
to proceed without loss of time to enlist seven com- 
panies of men, officered in the usual manner, to act 
as militia under your orders. They are to proceed 
to Kentucky, and there to cbey such orders and 
directions as you shall give them, for three months 
after their arrival at that place ; but to receive pay. 
etc.. in case they remain on duty a longer time. 

"You are empowered to raise these men in any 
county in the commonwealth, and the county lieu- 
tenants, respectively, are requested to give you all 
possible assistance in that business. 

"Given under mv hand at Williamsburg, Jan. 2, 

"(Signed) P. Henry." 

The private instructions, which really meant 
business, were as follows : 

"In Council, Willi.-xmsdurg, Jan. 2, 177S. 
"Col. George Rogers Clark: — Sir: — Y'ou are to 
proceed with all convenient speed to raise seven 
companies of soldiers to consist of fifty men each, 
officered in the usual manner and armed most prop- 
erly for the enterprise, and with this force, attack 
the British force at Kaskasky. 

"It is conjectured that there are many pieces of 
cannon and military stores to a considerable amount 
at that place, the taking and preservation of which 
would be a valuable acquisition to the state. If you 
are so fortunate, therefore, as to succeed in your 
expedition, you will take every possible measure to 
secure the artillery and stores and whatever may 
advantage the state. 

"For the transportation of the troops, provisions, 
etc., down the Ohio, you are to apply to the com- 
manding officer at Fort Pitt for boats, etc. During 
the whole transaction you are to take especial care 
to keep the true destination of your force secret. Its 
success depends upon this. 

"It is earnestly desired that you show humanity 
to such British subjects and other persons as fall in 
your hands. If the white inhabitants of that post 
and the neighborhood will give undoubted evidence 
of their attachment to this state, for it is certain they 
live within its limits, by taking the test prescribed by 
law and by every way and means within their power, 
let them be treated as fellow citizens and their per- 
sons and property duly secured. Assistance and pro- 
tection against all enemies whatever, shall be afiforded 
them and the coinmonwealth of Virginia is pledged 
to accomplish it. But, if the people will not accede 
to these reasonable demands, they must feel the 
miseries of war under the direction of that hnmanitv 

that has heretofore distinguished Americans, and 
which it is expected you will ever consider as the 
rule of your conduct and from which you are in no 
instance to depart. 

"The corps you are to command are to receive 
the pay and allowance of militia, and to act under 
the laws and regulations of this state, now in force, 
as militia. The inhabitants of the post will be in- 
formed by you, that in case they accede to the ofTer 
of becoming citizens of this commonwealth, a proper 
garrison will be maintained among them and every 
attention bestowed to render their commerce ben- 
eficial, the fairest prospects being opened to the 
tlominicns both of F'rance and Spain. 

"It is in contemplation to establish a post near the 
nioutli of the Ohio. Cannon will be wanted to 
fortify it. Part of those at Kaskasky will be easily 
brought thither or otherwise secured as circumstances 
will make necessary. 

"Wishing you success. I am 

"Your humble servant, 

"P. Henry." 

It will be noted that without naming the 
alleged colony of Tran.sylvania, Governor 
Henry in the secret instructions to Clark, 
asserted authority not only over Kentucky, 
where the Landed Proprietors had claimed 
sovereignty, but also over Kaskasky and all 
the territory thereabout, when in speaking of 
the inliabitants of that post, and their possible 
adherence to Virginia, he used the forcible 
term: "for it is certain they live within its 
limits." Furthermore, he asserted his inde- 
pendence and that of \'irginia, when referring 
to it not as a colony but as a "state." The 
belief in the ultimate success of Clark is 
cleverly set forth in the concluding paragraph 
of the secret instructions, wherein the artillery 
at that time in the possession of the British at 
Kaskasky is disposed of as a part of the de- 
fense at the proposed post at the mouth of the 

On the day following the receipt of his in- 
structions, Colonel Clark received from 
Messrs. Jefferson, Mason and Wythe author- 
ity to use certain inducements as a means of 
rapidly recruiting the desired forces. Their 
letter follows : 



"Williamsburg, Jan. 3, 1778. 
"Sir:— As some Indian tribes to the westward of 
tlie Mississippi have lately, without provocation, 
massacred many of the inhabitants of the frontiers 
of this commonwealth in the most cruel and bar- 
barous manner, and it is intended to revenge the 
injury and punish the aggressors by carrying the 
war into their own country, we congratulate you 
upon your appointment to conduct so important an 
enterprise in which we most heartily wish you suc- 
cess, and we have no doubt but some future reward 
in lands in the country will b> given to volunteers 

There seems even at this early day in the 
history of our country to have been a confu- 
sion in the pubhc mind in relation to military 
titles. In the first set of instructions to Clark, 
the governor addresses him as "Lieut. Colonel 
Clark ;'' in the second and real set, he ad- 
dresses "Col. Clark," while Wythe, Mason and 
Jefferson address their congratulatory letter 
to "George Rogers Clark, Esq." However, it 
mattered little to Clark one may safely believe. 


who shall engage in this service, in addition to the 
usual pay, if they are so fortunate as to succeed. We 
think it just and reasonable that each volunteer enter- 
ing as a common soldier in this expedition, should 
be allowed three hundred acres of land and the offi- 
cers in the usual proportion, out of the lands which 
may be conquered in the country net in the possession 
of the said Indians, so as not to interfere with the 
claims of any friendly Indians or any people willing 
to become subjects of this commonwealth, and for 
this, we think you may safely confide in the justice 
and generosity of the Virginia assembly.'. 
"We are. Sir, 

"Your most humble servants, 

"G. Wythe, 
"G. Mason, 
"Th. Jefferson. 
"To George Rogers Clark, Esq. 

He, some of the "Colonels" of the pres- 
ent day, fairly won his rank in actual combat 
with the enemy, and would have scorned to 
wear the title of "Major General" in the days 
of peace, wdien there w^as a doubt that he had 
ever heard a hostile gun amid the perils of 
warfare. Clark "made good" in war, how- 
ever he may afterward have been neglected 
when peace had come to the country he had 
so gallantly served. 

With the official authority of Governor 
Henry herein quoted and the moral effect of 
the pledges of Jefferson, Wythe and Mason, 
three of A'irginia's most noted civilian citizens 
to encourage him. Colonel Clark set to work 



to enust tne lorce neeaea lor nis enterprise, 
a difficult task, as secrecy was demanded not 
alone in securing recruits but in arranging for 
carrying out the details of his expedition. 
Finally he secured three companies of fifty 
men each, one hundred and fifty in all, though 
it will be recalled that he had authority to en- 
list seven companies, or three himdred and fif- 
ty men. Early in May, 1778, he was at the 
mouth of the Kanawha river ready for the 
perilous journey down the Ohio. Here he 
enlisted other volunteers and was joined by a 
number of immigrants to Kentucky who en- 
joyed protection by accompanying the military 
expedition. Without incident of note, the flo- 
tilla made its way down the Ohio, landing 
some of the immigrants at different points. 
Alay 27, 1778, Clark, his command, and about 
eighty of the immigrants, arrived at the Falls 
of the Ohio. 

On the high authority of Col. R. T. Durrett 
the statement is made that from the date of 
this landing, the Falls of the Ohio, or in other 
words, the city of Louisville, has never been 
without occupation by white people. It is a 
matter of the greatest interest that this date 
should be remembered. While there had been 
people at the Falls prior to the arrival of Col- 
onel Clark and his men, they cannot be recog- 
nized as permanent residents. Those who 
came with him remained and that Colonel 
Durrett refers to them as, in the main, perma- 
nent residents, fixes their status. It may as 
well be stated here, as elsewhere, that any 
historical statement as to the early settlement 
of Kentucky that is made by Colonel Durrett, 
is accepted as correct by the author of this 


Expedition's Objects Made Known — Leaves the Falls for Kaskaskia — Bloodless 
Capture of Kaskaskia — Surprising Message to the French — Cahokia and Vin- 


I/O Strong — Band of Nation-Builders — Advance Message to Vincennes — Grand Re- 
sults OF Clark's Expedition — Returns to Falls of the Ohio. 

When Clark arrived at the Falls, the offi- 
cers and men under his command knew noth- 
ing of the objects of the expedition. They 
did not know where they were going, nor why 
they were going. He built at Corn Island on 
the Falls of the Ohio, a stockade to protect his 
stores, and as a protection to those upon the 
mainland. The news of the establishment of 
this post attracted other adventurous spirits 
and he soon had volunteers from points as far 
away as the Monongahela river in Pennsyl- 

Colonel Clark had expected to add to his 
force volunteers from the stations at Boones- 
borough, Harrodsburg and Logan's Fort, 
but, as will be seen later, the men at these 
posts had sufficient to occupy them and could 
not render that assistance to Colonel Clark 
which otherwise they would doubtless have 
been glad to do. 

Boonesborough, at this moment, had reason 
to e.xpect an attack, and could therefore not 
weaken its forces to assist Clark. The latter 
had been drilling his raw militia from the 
time of his arrival at the Falls until June 26th, 
when he was reinforced by the arrival of a 
body of men under command of Colonel Bow- 
man and others, the number of which is not 

It was at this time that Colonel Clark made 
Vol. 1—4. 

known to his command his intention to lead 
them against the British stations north of 
the Ohio. June 27th he set out upon the peril- 
ous task he had set out to perform, with 
four companies of men under command of 
Captains Leonard Helm, Joseph Montgomery, 
William Harrod and Joseph Bowman, the 
force consisting of but one hundred and thir- 
ty-five men, who had started out to win for 
the country which they served, half a conti- 
nent. History relates the successes of Col- 
onel Clark, but little is told of these adventur- 
ous captains, who, with their men, aided him 
in adding the Northwest territory to the map 
of the Union, and driving back to the Great 
Lakes the Indians and their English allies. 
Clark, the intrepid pioneer soldier, said later 
of his command: "I knew that my case was 
desperate, but the more I reflected on my 
weakness, the more I was pleased with the 

There is a difference of opinion as to the 
date of Clark's departure frorn the Falls. One 
authority states that his flotilla departed at 
sunrise on June 24th, "at the very moment of 
the sun being in a great eclipse ;" another 
states that he departed June 27th. The impor- 
tant fact is that, no matter when he started, 
he succeeded in his undertaking and justified 
the confidence imposed in him by Governor 




Henry and the three \'irginia statesmen who 
had encouraged him in his great enterprise. 

Proceeding down the Ohio. Colonel Clark 
when near the mouth of the Tennessee river, 
was joined by a party of six hunters under 
command of one John Duff, who had left 
Kaskaskia eight days before and who offered 
their services as guides. Duff and his men 
told Colonel Clark that the fort was under the 
command of M. Rocheblanc, who kept his men 
in military order and that all spies and In- 
dians were directed to keep a close watch upon 
all parties from Virginia, the latter being 
classed as rebels and included in all parties 
from Kentucky. John Sanders, the principal 
guide of John Duff's party, offered himself as 
guide to Colonel Clark, but refused the assist- 
ance of others of Duff's party, stating, how- 
ever, that the capture of the post of Kaskaskia 
would be easy, as the garrison was sustained 
more for show on dress parade than for actual 
defense. Concealing his boats, Colonel Clark 
then set out upon one of the most desperate 
enterprises which had characterized the war- 
fare on the border. The historian Bancroft 
says of this enterprise that "for the valor of 
the actors, their fidelity to one another, the 
seeming feebleness of their means and the 
great results of their hardihood, remains for- 
ever memorable in the history of the world." 
There lay between Clark and the post of 
Kaskaskia at this time, one hundred and 
twenty miles of unknown territory, but with 
Sanders as his guide, after concealing his 
boats he began the march. Sanders became 
confused and lost the trail, exciting suspicion 
of his loyalty, but, after a time, he secured 
the correct idea of the route and the expedi- 
tion proceeded, halting on July 4th, a most 
auspicious date, within a few miles of the 
town, where he lay until dusk, when he con- 
tinued to the suburbs, where a house was tak- 
en possession of. Boats were secured and a 
portion of the command crossed the river, 
while Colonel Clark, with another small divi- 

sion of his forces, took possession of the fort 
which was afterwards known as Fort Clark in 
compliment to the leader of the expedition. 
The fort was practically unguarded and was 
taken without resistance. The other divisions 
of his forces, in accordance with their instruc- 
tions, then moved against the town which 
they had surrounded and it was soon within 
their hands, without the shedding of a drop 
of blood. 

Rocheblanc. the British Commander, with a 
French name, was taken in his private cham- 
bers, where were found written instructions 
to the Indians inciting them to deeds of sav- 
age cruelty and offering rewards for the scalps 
of white persons. Those English people of 
today who enjoy writing and printing criti- 
cisms upon the people of our country might 
more profitably employ their time in explain- 
ing why the officers of their amiy incited sav- 
ages to the murder of those who, of their own 
blood, had become citizens of the new land 
beyond the seas and who sought to make here 
the homes for their wives and children denied 
them in the land of their nativity and that of 
their fathers. 

Colonel Clark, to impress the people of 
Kaskaskia, who had been taught to believe that 
the men of Virginia and Kentucky were but 
savages, as were the Indians, ordered his men 
to patrol the town, yelling and whooping as 
did the savages. This artifice had its desired 
effect and the simple people were sufficiently 

From his scouts and spies, whom he had 
sent out. Colonel Clark learned that there was 
a considerable body of Indians near Cahokia, 
about sixty miles up the Mississippi. While 
deliberating upon an attack upon Cahokia, 
Col. Clark was waited upon by M. Gibault, the 
French priest of Kaskaskia, and a delegation 
of its citizens, who begged of him that the 
rights of property be respected, that they be 
not separated from their wives and children. 



and that sufficient clothes and provisions be 
left them for future support. 

To these appeals, Col. Clark replied: "You 
must mistake us for savages from your de- 
meanor and language. Do you think that 
Americans would strip the clothing from 
women and children ; separate them from hus- 
bands and fathers and take the bread out of 
their mouths ? We do not make war with such 
atrocities. It was to prevent our own women 
and chiklren from horrid Ijutchery b}- Indians 
that we have taken up arms and penetrated 
this distant stronghold of British and Indian 
barbarity, and not the contemptible prospect 
of plunder. I bear to you a message of sur- 
prise that I ho]5e may be pleasing to all. You 
have not lost your love for your native France, 
whose dominion over this territory you reluc- 
tantly exchanged for that of England by the 
treaty of Paris in 1763. That France, which 
was your patriotic first love, and for which 
there must ever remain a lingering pride and 
affection in the breast of every Frenchman, 
native born and true, has now, by another 
treaty with the .\mericans, made herself an 
ally with us in this cruel war that England 
wages against us. The French king has now 
united his powerful arms with those of Amer- 
ica and the war, in all probability, will soon 
be terminated in our favor. You are at lib- 
erty to choose whichever side you please, and 
we will not molest you nor interfere with 
your religion, for it is the religion of many 
Americans. I am convinced that you have 
been misled by the statements of British 
officers and prejudiced against us; and, am 
satisfied that we should be friends and not 
enemies. I shall order the immediate release 
of your friends and announce to you that all 
are privileged to go where and do as they 
please in the future." 

The delegation withdrew and the statement 
of Colonel Clark having been made public, 
there was great rejoicing: bells were rung 
and the people gave thanks and praises to God 

for their une.xpected deliverance from an ex- 
pected and dreaded captivity. 

Having undisputed possession of Kaskas- 
kia, Clark ne.xt sent Capt. Bowman to cap- 
ture Cahokia, a French settlement not far 
from the present site of St. Louis, which was 
easily done, no resistance being offered by 
the French inhabitants, who with those of 
Kaskaskia had no love for the English, and 
subsequently proved of great assistance to 
Colonel Clark in his following operations 
against \'incennes. 

Soon after capturing the garrison at Kas- 
kaskia, Clark sent that fine old pioneer and 
scout, Simon Kenton, to the Ohio Falls, with 
dispatches announcing his success, directing 
him, in the meantime, to ascertain, while on 
his way, the exact condition of the British 
post at V'incennes. This service was properly 
performed and after six days, three of which 
had been spent in \'incennes, Kenton sent 
back a message to Clark that the inhabitants 
were mostly French and inclined to accept the 
authority of the Americans. Father Gibault, 
the Catholic priest at Kaskaskia, had visited 
\'incennes, and his report of the conduct and 
sentiments of Colonel Clark and his men at 
Kaskaskia tended to bring the people of \'in- 
cennes to his support. When Gibault left 
Kaskaskia for Vincennes he was accompanied 
by an influential citizen of the former post, 
lean Lafort, who was to act as a political 
agent, and Lieutenant Leonard Helm, who 
was to take over the military command of 
\'incennes in the event of its peaceful sur- 

When Father Gibault had made known to 
the people the conduct of Colonel Clark and 
his men at Kaskaskia, and had explained the 
alliance of their native land, France, with the 
Americans in opposition to England, the peo- 
ple of Vincennes held a meeting in which 
they threw off the allegiance they had hitherto 
unwillingly borne to England, and raising 
the .\merican flag above the fort, took the 



oath of allegiance to Virginia. Abbott, the 
British Governor of the post, was absent in 
Detroit, and his subordinates lost no time in 
leaving the country. The Indians, surprised 
by the sudden shifting of authority which 
they could not understand, were told that 
their old father and friend, the King of 
France, had come to life again; that he was 
angry with them for joining with the English 
in warfare, and that if they did not wish a 
desperate warfare in their land, they should 
be at peace with the new people who had 
come among them. 

One of the first incentives to the expedition 
of Colonel Clark to the country beyond the 
Ohio River had been to make peace with the 
Indians for the protection of the scattered 
and struggling people in Kentucky. To ac- 
complish this, after securing possession of 
Kaskaskia, Cahokia and Vincennes, he held 
conferences with the Indians, reporting in the 
meantime, after his military successes, that 
"our influence began to spread among the 
nations (Indians) even to the border of the 
States." The Indian of that day, as of this, 
respected power and had an admiration for 
the man who did things, which was a distinct- 
ive characteristic of George Rogers Clark. 
At the end of five weeks of negotiation which 
was. in the main successful, Colonel Clark 
leaving Capt, Bowman in command at Vin- 
cennes, returned to Kaskaskia. The period 
of enlistment of certain of his troops having 
expired, these were ordered back to the Falls 
of the Ohio, under command of Capt. William 
Linn, who was directed to establish a fort at 
the Falls. 

Col. Henry Hamilton, the acting English 
Lieutenant Governor at Detroit, learning of 
the success of Colonel Clark in the Illinois 
country, began immediate preparations to re- 
capture that territory and drive Clark and his 
brave followers back again to the southern 
banks of the Ohio. Hamilton was especially 
hated by the men with Clark, by reason of his 

ha\-ing ottered to the Indians a money prize 
for the scalps of white persons among the 
early settlers of the new country. Colonel 
Clark shared this feeling and always referred 
to Hamilton as "the hair-buyer." Writing to 
Governor Patrick Henry from Kaskaskia, 
February 3. 1779, he thus refers to Hamilton 
and his own plans : 

"A late maneuver of the famous hair buyer, 
Henry Hamilton, Esq., Lieutenant Governor 
of Detroit, hath alarmed us much. On the 
i6th of December last, he with a body of (joq 
men, composed of regulars, French volun- 
teers and Indians, took possession of St. Vin- 
cent on the Wabash and what few men that 
composed the garrison, not being able to 
make the least defense. * * * Yesterday 
I fortunately got every piece of intelligence 
that I could wish for by a Spanish gentleman 
that made his escape from Mr. Hamilton. No 
attack is to be made on the garrison at Kas- 
kaskia until the spring. Being sensible that 
without reinforcements, which, at present, I 
have hardly a right to expect, I shall be 
obliged to give up the country to Mr. Hamil- 
ton without a turn of fortune in my favor, I 
am resolved to take advantage of this pres- 
ent situation and risk the whole in a single 
battle. I shall set out in a few days with all 
the force I can raise of my own troops and a 
few militia that I can depend upon, amount- 
ing in the whole to only 170 men. * * * 
I know the case is desperate but. Sir, we must 
either quit the country or attack Mr. Hamil- 
ton. * * * j,i cagg \Ye fa^ii^ ^j^jg country 
and, I believe, Kentucky is lost." 

Hamilton had 600 men; Clark had 170, but 
there was no hesitancy upon the part of the 
gallant American soldier. He had come to 
the parting of the ways. Either he or Hamil- 
ton must go. There was not room enough 
for both of them in the Illinois country, and 
the intrepid Clark determined that he would 
not go without one final struggle. To others 
and it may have seemed so to Colonel Clark, 



there was but a forlorn hope that he would 
succeed and in that success win the Illinois 
country and what was equally or more im- 
portant, the fair Kentucky for which he 

February 5, 1779, Clark and his intrepid 
little army — think of an army of but 170 men, 
in the enemy's country, a thousand miles from 
support or succor! — left Kaskaskia for their 
march to Vincennes one hundred and seventy 
miles distant, across uncharted plains, across 
icy streams in mid-winter. These men imder 
Clark were of the stuff of which heroes are 
made, and it follows, as doth the night the 
day, that their descendants in Virginia and in 
Kentucky in later days and on other fields, 
wrote the imperishable record of the Ameri- 
can soldier, than whom no better soldier fol- 
lows now, nor has ever followed, the flag of 
any other country imder the sun. 

Previous to beginning his march. Colonel 
Clark had ordered Captain Rogers, with 
forty-si.x men and two four pounders, to pro- 
ceed up the Wabash to the mouth of White 
river, there to await further orders. In the 
meantime, the land forces proceeded upon 
their way facing almost inconceivable hard- 
ships and dangerous delay. Wading through 
icy waters filled with floating ice which buf- 
feted them at every step, they, like the Irish 
troops at Fontenov, went "ever right onward 

Colonel Clark at their head, mounted on 
what has been described as "the finest stallion 
in the country," cheered his men, shared their 
sufferings and refused other dian the scant 
rations on which they subsisted. From the 
diary of Bowman, under date of February 
23d, the following extract is taken showing 
the difficulties encountered and overcome by 
as intrepid a body of American volunteers as 
ever marched to battle : "Set off to cross the 
plain about four miles long, all covered with 
water breast high. Here we expected that 
some of our brave men must certainlv iierish. 

having frozen in the night and so long fast- 
ing. Having no other resource but wading 
this plain or rather lake of waters, we 
plunged into it with courage, Colonel Clark 
being first. In the midst of this wading rather 
than marching, a little drummer boy who 
floated along on his drum, afforded much of 
the merriment that helped to divert the men 
from their hardship." 

Of this intrepid little drummer boy, who 
had better been at his mother's knee. Colonel 
Clark says in his "Memoirs :" "A drummer 
boy, the pet of the regiment, was placed on 
the shoulders of a tall man and ordered to 
beat for his life. I halted and called to Major 
Bowman to fall to the rear with twenty-five 
men, and put to death any man who refused 
to march as we wished to have none such 
among us. The whole command gave a cry 
of appreciation and we marched on." 

It is to the everlasting honor of these gal- 
lant men that not only did Bowman have no 
occasion to execute the command of his stren- 
uous commander, but that the men gave to 
that order "a cry of appreciation." Those 
were nation builders who followed Clark, 
from the little drummer boy to the last private 
in the ranks, and the name of every one of 
them is worthy to be inscribed in the highest 
records of their country's history. It is a 
matter for regret that those names cannot now 
lie given on this page, there to endure forever 
as a heritage for their descendants and an ex- 
ample worthy of the emulation of every Amer- 
ican volunteer soldier. 

When Colonel Clark had arrived within a 
few miles of \'incennes, knowing that an alarm 
would necessarily be given before he could 
attack the fort, he decided to use diplomacy. 
Knowing most of the people of \'incennes to 
be friendly to the Americans, he sent a mes- 
senger to them with the following address : 

"To THE Inh.vbit.\nts OF ViNCENNES : — Gentle- 
men — Being now within two miles of your village, 
with my army determined to take your fort this night. 



and not being willing to snrprise you, I take this 
method to request of such of you as are true citizens 
and willing to enjoy the liberty I bring you, to re- 
main still in your houses — and those, if there be 
any, that are friends to the king, will instantly repair 
to the fort and join the hair-buyer general and fight 
like men. And if any such as do not go to the fort 
shall be discovered afterward, they may depend upon 
severe punishment. On the contrary, those who are 
true friends to liberty may depend upon being well 
treated, and I once more request them to keep out 
of the streets. For every one I find in arms on my 
arrival I shall treat him as an enemy." 

"(Signed) George Rogers Clark." 

This proclamation caused the people of 
Vincennes to believe that the threatened at- 
tack was to be made by an army that had just 
come from Kentucky, as they considered it 
impossible that a force from the Illinois coun- 
try could appear before their town in mid- 
winter, so great were the obstacles in the 
shape of water and ice to be overcome. Ter- 
rified by the proximity of this new force as 
they deemed it, and unaware of the size of 
the "army" to which Colonel Clark had re- 
ferred in his proclamation, not even the sym- 
pathizers with the English made known to 
the fort the near approach of the American 

Making his appearance before the fort, 
Colonel Clark so completely surprised Hamil- 
ton that the latter surrendered without an 
effort at defense. 

In the afternoon of February 24, 1779, the 
following articles of capitulation were agreed 

"First. — Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton engages to 
deliver up to Colonel Clark, Fort Sackville, as it is 
at present, with all stores, etc. 

"Second. — The garrison are to deliver themselves 
as prisoners of war and march out with their arms 
and accouterments, etc. 

"Third. — The garrison to be delivered up tomor- 
row at 10 o'clock. 

"Fourth. — Three days' time to be allowed the gar- 
rison to settle their accounts with the inhabitants 
and traders of this place. 

"Fifth. — The officers of the garrison to be allowed 
their necessary baggage, etc. 

"Signed at Post St. Vincent (Vincennes), Feb- 
ruary 24, 1779." 

"Agreed for the following reasons : The remote- 
ness from succor; the state and quantity of pro- 
visions, etc. ; the unanimity of officers and men in 
its expediency; the honorable terms allowed; and 
lastly the confidence in a generous enemy. 

"(Signed) Henry Hamilton, 
"Lieutenant Governor and Superintendent." 

Early in the morning of the next day, Feb- 
ruary 25, 1779, the surrender was consum- 
mated ; the arms of the garrison secured ; the 
British flag hauled down; the American flag 
raised in its place and the name of the fort 
changed to Fort Patrick Henry in honor of 
the Governor of Virginia who had authorized 
and enabled Colonel Clark to start upon the 
dangerous mission that day crowned with 

A portion of the prisoners were paroled, 
but in March, Hamilton and others of the 
garrison were sent as prisoners of war to 
Virginia. Hamilton was confined at the cap- 
ital, Williamsburg, until October, 1780, when 
he was paroled and sent to New York. It is 
to the credit of the Americans that, though 
Hamilton was the author of the brutal offer 
of money for the scalps of those in opposi- 
tion to English authority, there is nowhere a 
record of any indignity being oft'ered him 
while in captivity, though the terms of that 
atrocious offer were sufficient to have re- 
moved him beyond the pale of recognition by 
any save tlrose with the same brutal instincts 
as his own. 

Two days after the surrender the boat 
"Willing" with its forty-seven men under 
command of Captain Rogers, arrived at Vin- 
cennes, after being delayed by the swift cur- 
rent of the Wabash. Accompanying this 
party was a messenger from Virginia who 
bore to Clark and his associates the thanks 
and congratulations of the assembly on the 
success that had attended his expedition to 



the time when it was last heard from in Vir- 
ginia. This messenger also bore two com- 
missions, one of which promoted Clark from 
Lieutenant Colonel to Colonel, and Bowman 
from Captain to Major, a deserved honor in 
each instance to men who had surely de- 
served well of their country. 

Thus ended the most momentous campaign 
against the English and their Indian allies 
that has ever illumined the history of our 
country. Col. George Rogers Clark had not 
only protected Kentucky and saved it from 
the ravages of the Indians but he did more 
even than this. He had added to the domain 
of his country a magnificent territory out of 
which have since been carved the States of 
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin 
and that part of Minnesota lying on the east- 
ern shore of the Mississippi river. But for 
Clark and his genius and the indomitable 
spirit of himself and his men, that great ter- 
ritory would have been left as a possession of 
England and for aught the historian of today 
can say, may have remained to this day a 
portion of Canada. This is mere specula- 
tion • it is a certainty that Clark removed the 

territory in question from the realm of un- 
certainty into that of fact. 

Clark chafed under his inability, for lack 
of men and supplies, to reduce Detroit and 
Sandusky which he recognized as the bases 
of supplies, the heart of English occupancy 
and the points from which emanated the 
otTers and inducements leading to Indian 
atrocities. "Had I been able to raise only 500 
men," Clark afterwards stated, "when I first 
arrived in the country ; or, when I was at St. 
Vincent (Vincennes) could I have secured 
my prisoners and have had only 300 men, I 
should have attempted it" (meaning the cap- 
ture of Detroit and Sandusky). But he did 
not have the needed men and was forced to 
relinquish his plans. 

Captain John Todd soon arrived in the 
captured territory to assume the governor- 
ship, after which Colonel Clark, after send- 
ing a courier to Virginia with dispatches for 
Governor Henry and Thomas Jefferson an- 
nouncing the complete success of the expedi- 
tion, left the great domain he had won for his 
country and returned to the Falls of the 


Boone Captured — Self-Sacrifice for Others — Takex to Detroit — Adopted into Indian 
Tribe — Escapes — Reaches Boonesborough — Goes Indian Hunting — Surrender of 

Fort Demanded — Refuse to Surrender — French Attempt Deception Mines and 

Countermines — The Siege Raised — Incidents of Siege. 

While Clark was engaged with his vast 
schemes looking to the conquest of the north- 
west and the driving therefrom of the Eng- 
lish and their savage allies, events of moment 
were occurring in Kentucky. 

In February, 1778, Daniel Boone and a 
party of thirty men were at the Blue Licks, 
on the Licking river, engaged in making salt 
for the settlements. Wandering in search of 
game from the camp of his associates, Boone 
was captured by a party of more than one 
hundred Indians who were en route to 
Boonesborough for an attack upon that sta- 
tion. It is probable that they had learned, 
through some of the means known only to 
the savage, that Boone was absent from the 
station and judged this to be an auspicious 
moment for an attack. Boone, in his auto- 
biography, says that he was made a prisoner 
on February 7, 1778, which is probably the 
correct date. Of his captivity and his captors 
he writes : "They brought me on the 8th day 
to the Licks, where twenty-seven of my party 
were, three of them having previously re- 
turned home with the salt. I, knowing it was 
impossible for them to escape, capitulated 
with the enemy, and, at a distance, in their 
view, gave notice to my men of their situa- 
tion, with orders not to resist but surrender 
themselves as captives." 

The men at the Licks obeved Boone and 

soon joined him as captives. It is assumed 
that Boone knew the fort at Boonesborough 
not to be in condition for a siege and hoped, 
by offering himself and his men as hostages, 
the threatened attack might be averted. Had 
he not done this, Boonesborough must have 
fallen. Marshall, in his history of that 
period, perhaps correctly says: "Had the 
Indians, after taking Boone and his men pris- 
oners, instead of returning home with their 
captives, marched on to Boonesborough they 
might either have taken the place by surprise 
or, using the influence their prisoners con- 
ferred on them, compelled a surrender of the 
garri.son and, progressively acting on the 
same plan, it is probable that the two other 
forts would have fallen in the same way, and 
from the same advantage. It is hardly pre- 
sumable that even if they had escaped sur- 
prise, they would have resisted a summons to 
surrender which might have been- enforced 
by the massacre of the prisoners under their 

Boone, knowing these matters intuitively, 
offered himself and his comrades willingly 
upon the altar of sacrifice in order that he 
might save the people of the three stations 
from death or capture and the women therein 
from a worse fate than any death had to 
oft'er. He proved himself now, as ever be- 
fore and after, the intrepid pioneer and sol- 




dier ready to meet every emergency, to dare 
every fate regardless of the effect upon him- 
self. He was a man. 

Of the men who were prisoners with 
Boone, one (Stephen Hancock) escaped and 
made his way to Boonesborough where he 
made known the capture of Boone and the 
condition of the prisoners. Hancock, a gal- 
lant soldier of the frontier, was later the 
founder of a station in what became Madison 
county, which station bore his name. He was 
a gallant man, a frontiersman born, and left 
his impress upon the new country as one of 
its most intrepid Indian fighters. 

Boone correctly judged the future move- 
ments of his captors. Elated by their unex- 
pected success in the easy capture of so many 
prisoners without loss to themselves, they 
abandoned the march upon Boonesborough 
and countermarched upon their own undis- 
puted territory. 

In March, Boone and ten of his men were 
taken by the Indians to Detroit, a British gar- 
rison commanded by that same Colonel Ham- 
ilton to whom Colonel Clark referred as "the 
hair buyer," and whom he subsequently cap- 
tured, as has been seen, at \'incennes. 
Hamilton treated his captives w^ith humanity 
and civility, going so far as to offer the Indi- 
ans a ransom of one hundred pounds for the 
release of Boone, at the same time assuring 
the latter that it was his intention to release 
him on parole. But if Hamilton, from what- 
ever cause, had become attached to Boone, so 
also had the Indians, who vastly admired his 
skill as woodsman and hunter and refused to 
consider any terms of ransom. Boone, while 
naturally anxious to escape captivity, was 
much exercised by the failure of Colonel 
Hamilton's plan for his release. He had pre- 
tended, through motives of policy, to be en- 
tirelv content and to find pleasure in the 
midst of his new surroundings with the Indi- 
ans, and was fearful of exciting their 
suspicion by any showing of interest in the 

offer of Hamilton. It is related that while at 
Detroit, several English gentlemen, perhaps 
attracted by his personality and sympathizing 
with his condition, offered loans of money to 
Boone, but, since he saw no present prob- 
ability of an opportunity for repayment, he 
declined their generous offers. After a time 
Boone went with his captors to Chillicothe, 
leaving his ten comrades still prisoners at 

Arriving, after a march of fifteen days, at 
Chillicothe, Boone was speedily adopted as a 
son by one of the principal families of the 
Indians at that point. In addition to being 
one of the first of pioneers and among the 
bravest of Indian fighters, Boone was also a 
philosopher and proceeding upon the theory 
that what cannot be cured must be endured, 
he accepted the situation and submitted to all 
that was offered him by his captors with a 
seeming good grace. The ceremony of adop- 
tion must have appealed to whatever sense of 
the ludicrous he may have had, though it is 
difficult to imagine the possession of such a 
sense by a man so sternly engaged in the 
realities of frontier existence. Peck's "Life 
of Boone" describes the incidents of adoption 
as follows : 

"The forms of this ceremony of adoption 
were in keeping with the nature of the sav- 
ages and as severe as they were ludicrous. 
The hairs of the head and the beard were 
plucked out by a painful and tedious opera- 
tion, one by one, excepting a tuft some three 
or four inches in diameter on the crown for 
the scalp lock, which was tied and dressed up 
with trinkets and feathers. The candidate 
was then taken into the river in a state of 
nudity and there thoroughly washed and 
rubbed, to take all his white blood out. This 
ablution, as well as the previous processes 
described, was performed by Indian women." 

When the ablution was completed to the 
satisfaction of these Indian ladies, Boone was 
conducted to the council-house where he lis- 



tened to an address from the chief, in which 
he was informed as to the great honors con- 
ferred upon him. His head and face were 
then painted in the hideous savage style, at 
the conchtsion of which Daniel Boone "the 
brave old pioneer" emerged in full panoply, 
as "a big Injun," it being assumed that he 
had been permitted to resume his customary 
raiment after the completion of his involun- 
tary bath. 

These Indians knew Boone ; they knew his 
prowess as a hunter and as a fighter ; they 
knew that alone and unguarded he had wan- 
dered through the wonderful wilds of Ken- 
tucky, and they imagined that in him they 
had discovered one who was a kindred spirit 
with themselves. Therefore they thought it 
an easy task to identify him with their tribe; 
to make him one of them and to have the 
benefit of his unusual skill as a htmter and 
his gallantry as a fighter. Boone knew these 
views of the Indians and, in his role as a phi- 
losopher, seemingly fell in with them. But his 
heart was with those back at Boonesborough 
and he bided his time ; cautious, watchful, re- 
sourceful, he waited for his opportunity. It 
was the custom in the Indian tribes of that 
day to provide the man whom they adopted 
with a squaw to build his fires, prepare his 
food and perform such other duties as may 
be required by her lord and master. It is not 
known if this custom was adhered to in the 
case of Boone. When he finally returned to 
civilization, Daniel, who was then fifty years 
old, made no mention of any such incident. 
If the most interested party elected to remain 
silent on the subject, history can be generous 
and do the same without further comment. 
Certain it is that no blandishment of Indian 
maiden, no kindly treatment by his captors, 
could wean Boone from his love of liberty 
and the fellowship of his own people. His 
mind was ever on an escape and a return to 
his family in Kentucky. 

Late in June of this year, 1778, a party of 

Indians visited the Scioto Salt Lick in Ohio 
and Boone was with them. Returning to 
Chillicothe, Boone found over four hundred 
warriors full panoplied for ' warfare and 
about to set out for the capture and destruc- 
tion of Boonesborough. Now or never, was 
the time for him to escape and warn the Ken- 
tuckians of the coming danger. It is a reflec- 
tion upon the Indian, usually over-cautious 
and suspicious, that Boone imder such cir- 
sumstances, was permitted to go out alone 
ostensibly for the purpose of hunting. That 
hunting trip covered a large expanse of terri- 
tory in Ohio and Kentucky to which latter 
Boone set his course. Marshall in his history, 
says: "So great was his an.xiety that he 
made no attempt to kill anything to eat. The 
journey of one hundred and sixty miles was 
performed in five days upon a single meal of 
victuals which he had concealed in his blan- 
ket." This is a somewhat surprising state- 
ment, requiring one to believe that Boone, 
practically without sustenance, made his way 
through a trackless forest, crossing the Ohio 
river en route, at a rate of more than thirty 
miles per day. 

Be that as it may, the important feature is 
that Boone reached Boonesborough on June 
20th, finding the place but poorly conditioned 
for defense, but setting about at once to pre- 
pare for the expected attack. The return of 
this master mind to their counsels put new- 
heart and life into the garrison and the nec- 
essary repairs were speedily made. Another 
prisoner, escaping from the Indians later than 
Boone, brought to the fort the intelligence 
that owing to the escape of the latter the 
threatened attack had been postponed for 
three weeks. The Indians had their spies in 
Kentucky and must have learned from them 
that the forts had all been strengthened to 
resist attack and their garrisons reinforced. 
This knowledge, together with the escape of 
Boone, may have operated to delay their 
threatened attack. 



As the Indians did not come to hunt for 
Boone, the latter conckided to go out and hunt 
for them. Accordingly on August ist, with 
nineteen men, he set out from the fort, his 
objective point being Paintcreektown, on the 
Scioto, which he proposed to surprise and 
capture. Simon Kenton was one of this 
party. When nearing the Indian encampment 
which it was proposed to attack, Kenton 
heard loud peals of laughter from a cane- 
brake near him. He quickly concealed him- 
self behind a tree just as two Indians came 
into view mounted on a pony one facing to 
the rear, the other to the front. It was their 
laughter Kenton had heard and which was 
speedily changed to the death moan. From 
his place behind a tree, Kenton fired instantly 
killing one of the Indians and severely 
wounding the other. Following the savage 
custom of that day, he rushed out to scalp 
the Indian whom he had killed, when he was 
suddenly surrounded by some thirty Indians. 
Dodging from tree to tree to escape their 
aim, he was only saved by the prompt arrival 
of Boone and his men who attacked and 
drove off the savages. 

Spies were now sent forward to the vicin- 
ity of the town, who, on their return, re- 
ported that it was evacuated. Boone's gen- 
eralship here came into play, and he reasoned 
correctly that the threatened attack on 
Boonesborough was about to be made. He 
thereupon determined to return as speedily 
as possible to that place, hoping to reach 
Boonesborough in advance of the Indians, 
thus giving warning to the garrison and al- 
lowing time for preparation to withstand the 
expected attack. Si.x days afterwards he 
passed the main body of the savages and on 
the seventh arrived safely at the fort. 

On the following day the Indians, under 
command of Captain Duquesne, eleven other 
French Canadians and some of their own 
chiefs, appeared before the fort four hundred 
strong, and with the flag of England flying 

over their headquarters. It was thus, in 
those early days that our English cousins 
"reached hands across the sea" to their kin- 
dred on this side. 

This was the most formidable force any 
Kentucky fort had been called upon to resist, 
but there was no weakening before it. Boone 
was cool and collected. When a summons 
came demanding a surrender in the name of 
King George III, he asked for two days' time 
in which to consider it, which request was 
granted. A council was called and there 
were not fifty men to attend it. But those 
were men indeed. They could make a manly 
defense and die fighting for the women and 
children in the fort, or they could surrender 
and become the victims of savage barbarity. 
They did not hesitate but determined to hold 
the fort while life remained among them. 
The result of their deliberations was kept 
secret among those in the council. It is re- 
corded in history that after the adjournment 
of the council each man went out to collect 
and bring into the fort such of his horses and 
cattle as could be found. How this was 
possible, with the fort surrounded by four 
hundred hostile Indians, no previous historian 
has found time to explain. This present his- 
torian also finds himself pressed for time. 

At the expiration of the two days granted 
by the besiegers Boone mounted a bastion of 
the fort and announced to Duquesne that 
there would be no surrender of the fort, at 
the same time politely expressing his appre- 
ciation of the notice of the proposed attack 
and the time thus allowed him to prepare for 
defense. Duquesne had evidently expected 
a different response to his demand for a sur- 
render, but, before beginning an attack, de- 
termined upon an artifice to decoy Boone and 
others of the garrison to the outside where he 
hoped to have them in his power. He there- 
upon declared that it was the order of 
Colonel Hamilton that he should take the 
garrison captives, treat them as prisoners of 



war and not to rob or kill them. He asked 
that nine of the principal men would come 
out, as he was prepared to treat with them. 
Boone, usually very cautious, agreed to this 
proposal and met the enemy at a point sixty 
yards from the gate of the fort. Boone was 
prepared to treat fairly with Duquesne ; the 
latter meant only treachery. The articles of 
capitulation, few in number, were speedily 

considered, agreed upon and signer 


presence of a number of Indians who stood 
moodily looking on. Treachery now took its 
place where fair promises had hitherto been 

Boone was told by the leaders of the at- 
tacking force that it was customary on occa- 
sions of this character, to show the sincerity 
of their minds by two Indians shaking each 
white man by the hand. This being also as- 
sented to, two Indians approached each of 
the nine white men and sought to take his 
hand and at the same moment make him a 
prisoner. Boone and his companions at once 
knew tliat only immediate flight would save 
them from captivity and the garrison from 
destruction. They pulled away from the 
Indians and as quickly as possible made their 
way into the fort followed by a hail of bullets 
from the savages from which all escaped in 
safety save one man who was wounded. 
Failing in this miserable subterfuge which it 
is charitable to believe was born in the brain 
of the French commander rather than that of 
the Indians whom he led. the beleaguerers be- 
gan a concentrated fire upon the fort, contin- 
uing for nine days, Boone's men returning it 
with interest. 

Then the work of the educated Frenchmen, 
who should have been ashamed of their ser- 
vice with the Indians, began. They attempted 
to undermine the fort which was about sixty 
yards from the bank of the Kentucky river. 
The mine was begun in the bank of the river 
and it was expected by the engineers that, if 
successfullv carried forward, it would result 

in the surrender of the garrison or its com- 
plete destruction. These were the pleasing 
conditions surrounding the men who made 
possible the Kentucky of today. Confronted 
by an implacable savage foe, the pioneers 
had, at the same time, uneducated as they 
were, to meet and circumvent, if they could, 
the efforts of skilful engineers to work their 
destruction. They met them and thev beat 
them. They stopped not to inquire as to any 
man's politics, as men do today; they saw 
that they and their families were in danger 
and they struck to save them, and they did 
save them. It mattered little to these men if 
those who stood by their side and aided in 
driving away the Indians, belonged to Tran- 
sylvania, or declared allegiance to Virginia. 
They fought for home and fireside; for wife 
and little children, and they won. How piti- 
ful the struggles of those who fight the parti- 
san battles of today as compared with the 
struggles of those who risked life and liberty 
that we of today might have the privilege of 
choosing our representatives and branding 
those of our fellow-citizens who do not agree 
with us as public malefactors. 

The French engineers accompanying the 
Indians, introduced here a system of warfare 
unknown to their savage allies and, in fact, 
to the besieged colonists. They began a mine 
on the bank of the river on the completion of 
which they hoped to gain an entrance to the 
fort unawares. But there were some born en- 
gineers in the fort ; men unskilled in the minu- 
tijE of warfare, but with perceptions as clear 
and keen as the eye of the hawk who circled 
above their beleaguered fort. They observed 
that the river below the fort ran muddy and 
at once recognized the reason therefor. A 
mine was being dug and the earth removed 
muddied the waters. They countermined at 
once and in order that their enemies on the 
outside might know that their plans were 
understood, they threw the earth from the 
countermine over the ramparts to the outer 



side. Who shall say that these beleaguered 
pioneers were not born soldiers and engi- 
neers ? 

The forces attacking the fort recognized 
that strateg}' would not win the day: the nine 
days firing on the fort had brought no results 
and thev therefore raised the siege and with- 
drew from further attack. 

Tliis was the most formidable attack that 
had been made upon the Kentucky settle- 
ments and that it had been successfully re- 
sisted by so small a party, put new heart into 
the people at the other forts. During the 
siege but two men of the defenders were 
killed : of the Indians, thirty-seven were 
killed within sight of the defenders of the fort 
and many others wounded, the latter being 
immediately removed in accordance with the 
Indian custom. 

Smith, in his "History of Kentucky," re- 
lates the following incidents of the siege 
from the manuscript of Gen. Robert B. 
McAfee, related to the latter by persons in 
the fort : "Accordingly, as expected on I\Ion- 
day morning, August 8th, by sunrise about 
four hundred and forty-four Indians ap- 
reared on the hill facing the fort commanded 
by Capt. Duquesne, a Frenchman. They 
paraded with colors flying (British) in two 
lines, so as to show their whole strength and 
terrify the fort into submission. The Indi- 
ans were at particular pains to appear in as 
frightful a manner as possible, as they had all 
painted themselves in various colors streaked 
with red. After showing themselves for 
some time, they set up a most hideous yell 
and brandished their guns. Only twenty- 
nine men were in the station f elsewhere they 
had been stated as fifty) who, though fine 
soldiers, felt a chill of horror at the sight of 
an enemy so numerous and so powerful. 
Soon after a large negro man, who could 
speak English, stepped about forty yards in 
front of the Indian line toward the fort and 
called three times, as loudlv as he could for 

"Captain Boone," and stated that if he would 
come out they would not hurt him. The men 
in the fort held counsel on the proposition, a 
number opposing his going out. Boone put 
an end to the debate by determining to go : 
prepared himself with a pipe and flag and 
went out alone, leaving directions if they saw 
the Indians imprison him, they should shut 
the fort and defend it to the utmost. For a 
sign to his men he would strike his flag if 
danger presented itself. After a conference 
of an hour, he returned to the fort and re- 
lated the result and their imminent danger. 
The Indians wished him to surrender the fort 
and they would permit him and his associates 
to escape unhurt. To this proposition, he 
seemed to assent, in order to amuse the Indi- 
ans, well knowing that in the then situation of 
the fort, they could take it by storm. Boone, 
pretending to accede to their demands, prom- 
ised to return the next day and inform them 
of the result of the conference, saying he had 
no doubt the fort would be given up. 

"During the night the men spent their time 
in fortifying the place by fastening the gates 
with bars, but for which the Indians might 
easily have forced the gates. Next day 
Boone returned to the Indian camp and in- 
formed them that all of his men, but a few, 
were willing to surrender, and he believed 
they would soon assent, seeing they had no 
means of escape ; but if they did not give up, 
he, himself, would provide for the surrender. 
He left them, promising to return the next 
day, first agreeing to have a feast then, at 
which the Indian chiefs were to be present 
and most of the principal men of the fort. 
The time thus gained was diligently improved 
in the fort by making every preparation pos- 
sible. Things were made ready for the feast 
in a hollow in sight of the fort, whither both 
parties were to repair. Accordingly, Boone 
and five or six of his men went out. After 
eating, the Indians began the conference for 
a surrender which Boone seemed to agree to ; 



but, either suspecting his sincerity or desirous 
of drawing the men out of the fort, in order 
to massacre them as soon as the conference 
was over, it was proposed and agreed that 
two Indians should shake hands with one 
man. They accordingly rose up and one 
Indian took hold of the hand on one side and 
another on the other side. The first that got 
hold, being impatient, tried to throw Boone 
down. But the whites, suspecting all things 
were not right, broke their hold, threw down 
some of the Indians and ran towards the fort, 
while they were fired upon by a party of 
Indians in ambuscade who killed one white 
man and wounded two others. The balance 
of the whites got safely into the fort, having 
considerable difficulty to run through the 
Indians in several places, they having planted 
themselves all around, and as soon as the first 
gun fired, came ])ouring from all directions 
with the most hideous yells. 

"When the Indians found that they could 
not take the fort by storm, they secreted a 
chosen band under the bank of the Kentucky 
river and then appeared and made battle in 
great numbers on the opposite side. They 
then affected to retreat in great disorder, so 
as to induce the whites to follow. The latter, 
suspecting the ruse, kept close to the fort, for 
Boone, in all his conferences with the 
Indians, represented the number of his men 
five times greater than he really had. When 
the Indians found their aft'ected retreat would 
not do, they all returned and attempted to 
undermine the houses by beginning under the 
bank of the river and digging toward the 
fort. In this they had not the success they 
expected, for a drizzling rain set in which 
lasted for two or three days. They mined to 
within fifteen or twenty steps of the houses 
to where a large log lay, behind which they 
endeavored to hide. The men in the fort fre- 
C|uently killed Indians as they came to and 
returned from the mine. After all, the Indi- 
ans would have captured the fort but for the 

constant rain for several days. The Indians 
took advantage of the night to make their 
advances. One night, about the seventh after 
they came, they pitched torches of cane and 
hickory bark against and upon the fort, which 
would inevitably have consumed the whole 
place had the fire caught readily, but the logs 
being wet, no impression was made before it 
was discovered by the whites and extin- 
guished with considerable trouble. The night 
being extremely dark, the Indians made every 
possible effort to reduce the fort and set it on 

"They continued to undermine during the 
next day, but finding they were discovered 
and countermined, they gave over ami next 
day paraded and withdrew, having already 
slain all the cattle they could find and de- 
stroyed all the property they could reach. 
They retreated leisurely, the whites being too 
weak to pursue. 

"After the siege was raised, the people 
picked up near the fort walls one hundred 
and twenty-five pounds of leaden bullets 
which had fallen, besides those which had 
stuck in the logs and palisades. This seems 
to have been the last effort ever made by the 
Indians against Boonesborough. It illus- 
trates the imbecility of physical force, desti- 
tute of knowledge and the arts. For what 
military enterprise could have been easier, to 
men knowing how to make ladders, than 
scaling a wall of stockades twelve feet high, 
or mounting on cabin roofs not even so high ; 
when their numbers were six times greater 
than those within ; and, when, as was the 
case, the assailants were armed with similar 
weapons, and especially with the tomahawk 
in their hands, and, face to face, a most for- 
midable weapon? That no attempt was made 
to take the place by storm, or escalade, seems 
the more astonishing on considering that the 
French Commander Duquesne must have 
])ossessed some of the arts of civilized war- 
fare and was apparently desirous of conquest. 



Was it that he had not the requisite tools and 
artificers, or was he unwilhng that his host of 
myrmidons should be let loose among the 
helpless women and children, that he did not 
point out to them a certain road to victory 
and to an indiscriminate massacre as the con- 
sequence? History could gain little, while 
humanity might lose much by a solution of 
this inquiry. 

"During Boone's captivity among the 
Shawnees, his family, supposing he had been 
killed, had left the station and returned to 
their relatives and friends in North Carolina, 
and as early in the autumn as he could leave, 
the brave and hardy warrior started to move 
them out again to Kentucky. He returned to 
the settlement with them earlv the next season, 

and set a good example to his companions by 
industriously cultivating his farm and volun- 
teering his assistance, whenever it seemed 
needed, to the many immigrants who were 
now pouring into the country and erecting 
new stations in the neighborhood of Boones- 

"As some adverse criticism had been made 
on the surrender of the salt-making party by 
Boone, by an agreed arrangement, and with 
Boone's approval, a court-martial was called 
for an investigation of charges exhibited by 
Colonels Richard Calloway and Benjamin 
Logan. The result was an honorable acquit- 
tal and the increase of Boone in the esteem 
and affections of the people." 


CoRX Islanders Removed to 2^Iainlaxd — First Settlers of Louisville — Hard Winter of 
1779-80 — Louisville Certain — Clark Erects Fort Jefferson — Successful Invasion of 
Enemy's Country — Northwestern Indian Confederation — Indians, under Girty, 
Defeated — Gallant Women of Bryan's Station. 

Returning from his successful operations 
in what had been hitherto the enemy's coun- 
try but which he had wrested from them, 
Colonel Clark, on his arrival at the Falls of 
the Ohio, found that many and great changes 
had occurred during his absence. Encour- 
aged by news of his victories, immigrants 
flocked to Kentucky, eager to secure homes. 
During 1778 but two new settlements had 
been made in Kentucky, but in 1779 no less 
than fourteen new establishments were 
founded before his return to the Falls. 

The little settlement he had established on 
Corn Island, before his departure to the 
Illinois country, had been sensibly augmented 
by members of the party of men whose terms 
of enlistment having expired, he had sent 
back under command of Capt. William Linn. 
He had also instructed Linn to remove the 
people from Corn Island to the mainland 
where he was to erect a permanent fort above 
the Falls. This work was entrusted to Rich- 
ard Chenowith, who had so expeditiously per- 
formed his task that by Christmas Day, 1778, 
a number of the families had removed from 
their cramped quarters on Corn Island to the 
more commodious homes on the mainland. 
Here they celebrated the Christmas season in 
their new cabins at the foot of what is now 
Twelfth street in the city of Louisville, with 
a feast and a dance. The belles and beaus of 
Louisville of today who can dance only on 
splendidly waxed floors derive not half the 

pleasure from the dance that was enjoyed by 
their ancestors on the puncheon floors of 
their primitive log cabins, in honor of the day 
and of Richard Chenowith, the honest con- 
tractor, who, knowing not graft, had erected 
their cabins in accordance with his contract. 
The music for the dance was furnished by a 
single fiddle played by a negro named Cato. 
It is related that when the date for the affair 
was fixed, Cato's fiddle-strings had dwindled 
to but one, from which he could coax but in- 
different music, and he was in despair. Be- 
fore the date of the dance arrived, however, 
a boat tied up at the Falls and among its pas- 
sengers was a Frenchman, like himself a 
fiddler (or violinist, as he would probably 
have preferred to be called), and from him 
Cato secured the necessary complement of 
strings for his fiddle, and was therefore en- 
abled to furnish forth the musical feast for 
the dancing belles and beaus of the Falls. 

In Smith's "History of Kentucky" is given 
the following list of names of those who 
were in attendance at the celebration, 
though it is difficult to imagine any of the 
residents of the vicinity being absent : "Rich- 
ard Chenowith, his wife, Hannah, and their 
four children, Mildred. Jane, James and 

"James Patten, his wife Mary, and their 
three daughters, Martha, Mary and Peggy. 

"John McManus, his wife Mary, and their 
three sons, John, George and James. 




"John Tuell, his wife Mary, and their 
three children, Ann, Winnie and Jessie. 

"WiUiam Faith, his wife Ehzabeth, and 
their son, John. 

"Jacob Reager, his wife Elizabeth, and 
their three children, Sarah, Maria and Henry. 

"Edward Worthington was with Clark in 
the Illinois campaign, but his wife, ^lary, his 
son Charles and his two sisters, Ann and 
Elizabeth, were at the Falls and at the 

William Foster, Samuel Finley, Neal Doherty 
and Isaac McBride were detailed by Clark to 
guard the military stores on Corn Island and 
thus became parties to the first settlement of 

Those who have noted carefully the above 
list will have found therein the names of 
some of the honored progenitors of the old 
families yet resident in Louisville. Those 
whose fancy has led them to the bestowal 
upon their children of fanciful and unusual 

"■y c^ 

"James Graham was also with Clark, but 
his wife Mary, was at the Falls. 

"John Donne was with Clark, but his wife 
Mary and their two sons, John and Charles, 
are believed to have been at the Falls at the 

"It has also been claimed that Isaac Kim- 
bly and his wife, Mary, were among the first 
settlers at the Falls. 

"In addition to these, Captain Isaac Rud- 
dle, James Sherlock, Alexander Mclntyre, 

Vol. 1—5. 

names, may be struck by the frequent recur- 
rence in the list of that beautiful name, Mary. 
Our forefathers and mothers ordered many 
things very wisely in their day. 

Colonel Clark had other than social events 
to claim his attention on his return. He held 
firmly to the opinion that until Detroit and 
Sandusky were taken and the British gairi- 
sons captured or driven from the northwest, 
there would be a continuance of Indian war- 
fare. Instigated by promises of bribes and 



plunder made by English officers and agents, 
bands of Indians roamed through Kentucky, 
murdering here, plundering there ; and it was 
necessary to the safety of the settlers and 
that of the entire territory that these out- 
rages should be brought to an end. 

The winter of 1779 was one of intense cold 
and there was much suffering in the rude 
homes of the settlers, in addition to that 
caused by the Indians. All streams were 
frozen over for months, and supplies ran so 
short that they could be obtained only at the 
most extravagant prices. The price of corn 
ranged from fifty dollars to one hundred and 
seventy-five dollars per bushel, but it must 
be understood that payment was made in 
the much depreciatetl Continental currency. 
Those familiar with the value of Confederate 
currency during the later years of the War 
Between the States, can best appreciate what 
is meant to pay $175 for a bushel of corn in 
Continental money. 

Trabue in his "Autobiography and Diary" 
says: "The hard winter began about the ist 
of November, 1779, and broke up the last of 
February, 1780; the turkeys (wild) were al- 
most all dead ; the bultaloes had got poor, 
people's cattle mostly dead ; no corn, or but 
very little, in the country. The people were 
in great distress ; many in the wilderness 
frostbitten, some dead ; some ate of the dead 
horses and cattle. When the winter broke, 
the men would go and kill the buffaloes and 
bring them home to eat, but they were so 
poor. A number of people were taken sick 
and did actually die for the want of solid 

But the sufferings of this winter did not 
put a stop to the coming to Kentucky of those 
who sought homes and independence. The 
immigration of 1780 was the largest the new 
territory had ever known. Three thousand 
people during the spring of this year arrived 
at Louisville and made certain the foundation 
of the beautiful city of today. Six new sta- 

tions were founded by six hundred adven- 
turous spirits and the end of Indian domina- 
tion in the territory about the Falls was in 
sight. In addition to these accretions to the 
population about the Falls, the outlying sta- 
tions received marked additions. Surveyors 
from Virginia poured into the virgin terri- 
tory, one of the results being a new road 
across the Cumberland IMountains giving ac- 
cess to the Kentucky territory through the 
Wilderness road. Through this road and 
down the Ohio river, it is estimated that 
nearly ten thousand people passed during one 
year. Fears of Indian invasion, of which 
there were yet occasional incidents, were les- 
sened by the presence of the larger number of 
active men to repel them. But Indian incur- 
sions were not yet at an end. 

Colonel Clark, experienced soldier as he 
was, realized this and had never given up the 
idea that the English strongholds at Detroit 
and Sandusky should be broken up and de- 
stroyed. Gov. Patrick Henry conceived a 
plan to strengthen the outlying colony by es- 
tablishing a fort near the mouth of the Ohio 
and by its presence enforce the claim of the 
United States to a western boundary at the 
Mississippi, south of the Ohio. Governor 
Henry believed that this fort held by a strong 
force would accomplish this result when 
peace negotiations with England were being 
held. But Governor Henry could not put his 
theory into active practice for lack of funds, 
and the matter was held in abeyance. 

In April, 1780, Clark's other good friend, 
Thomas Jefferson, succeeded to the governor- 
ship of Virginia and announced to Colonel 
Clark his determination to establish such a 
fort, at the same time ordering him to begin 
its construction. This project was not popu- 
lar in Kentucky, as the people feared that the 
defence of such a station in the southwestern 
portion of the country would weaken the de- 
fenses in the older portions of the country. 
But Clark, a soldier full of resources, quieted 


these fears by stating that, if found neces- 
sary', he would withdraw some of the soldiers 
from the Illinois country to defend the new 

The location of the fort was at the junc- 
tion of the Ohio and ^Mississippi rivers, so 
situated as to command the trade of the coun- 
try on either side of those rivers. Here he 
erected several block houses and a strong 
fort, the latter in honor of the man who had 
aided him in his perilous expedition into the 
northwestern territory, and was now the gov- 
ernor of Virginia, being called Fort Jeffer- 
son, which was garrisoned by a force of two 
hundred men. 

Clark's mind was not entirel)' engrossed in 
the construction of this fort. His thought 
was not only upon the business at hand, but 
on that which he felt was in the near future. 
He expected an incursion by the Indians fos- 
tered by the British forces at Detroit. Clark 
mentally put himself into the position of the 
enemy and rightly conjectured that they 
would do what he would have done had he 
\ been in their place. That is what some peo- 
ple have called military genius. Toward the 
end of May, 1780, Clark saw his expectations 
almost realized, for an attack was then im- 
minent. With two companions, the three 
disguised as Indians, he left Fort Jefferson 
and made his way on foot to Harrodsburg, 
that he might organize for defence against 
the coming invasion. Like the gallant soldier 
that he was. Colonel Clark determined, if 
there were time, that he would organize a 
military force and instead of awaiting an at- 
tack, would march into the enemy's country 
on the offensive. Finding the people at 
Harrodsburg more interested in land entries 
than in any other matter. Colonel Clark 
closed the land offices and proceeded to the 
enlistment of a military force for the protec- 
tion of the settlements. Before he had suc- 
ceeded in raising the desired force, the inva- 
sion which he had foreseen came with almost 

resistless force. June 22d, Colonel Byrd a 
British officer, at the head of some six hun- 
dred savages, appeared before Ruddell's 
station and, by displaying cannon, forced its 
surrender. Going thence to Martin's station 
but a few miles distant, it also was forced to 
surrender. The situation was, indeed, gloomy 
for the Kentucky settlements, and it looked 
f<ir a time that their fate was sealed. Had 
Colonel Byrd commanded British soldiers, he 
could have swept Kentucky as a besom of 
destruction as none of the stations had can- 
non with which to oppose his artillery. But, 
happily for the people of Kentucky, Byrd's 
forces were only Indians and they acted as 
Indians. Gorged with the plunder of the sta- 
tic/ins at Ruddell's and Martin's, and satisfied 
with the number of prisoners taken at these 
stations, they proposed to go back to their 
homes on the north side of the Ohio, there to 
enjoy in their own savage way, the fruits of 
their expedition. This is believed to have 
been the true cause of the withdrawal of the 
savage forces, but Collins states that the Indi- 
ans were eager to march against Bryan's 
station and Lexington, but were prevented by 
Colonel Byrd. Color is given to this theory 
by the explanation that Colonel Hamilton, 
"the hair-buyer," was expected to cooperate 
with Colonel Byrd, but being at the moment 
elsewhere engaged, could not do so. It is 
idle to speculate upon the reason for Colonel 
rSyrd's withdrawal. It is enough to know 
and far mcire important that he did retire 
with his Indian forces to the north side of 
the Ohio river. 

Clark, on the retreat of the enemy, called 
for volunteers for an invasion of the enemy's 
countrv. He had already the nucleus of a 
force and new enlistments soon brought his 
command to one thousand men, every man of 
them read\' to march into the Indian country 
and to endure every hardship the campaign 
might demand. Those were men, indeed, and 
there was no savage force on earth that could 



withstand them. At the head of this force 
which comprised within its numbers the most 
famous Indian fighters of the settlements in 
Kentucky, Clark marched to Chillicothe 
which he captured without firing a gim, the 
Indians quitting the place before his arrival 
and fleeing into their forest fastnesses. 
Burning their houses and destroying their 
crops, Colonel Clark moved on Piqua, which 
W'as a strong and well garrisoned town, there 
being several hundred Indians here under 
command of the renegade white man, Simon 
Girty. Resistance w-as offered, but Colonel 
Clark had a little cannon with him and when 
he turned this upon the enemy they quickly 
fled and Piqua was soon in his possession. 
Here, as at Chillicothe, he destroyed the 
buildings and crops, thus teaching the Indi- 
ans a useful lesson. Colonel Logan, pushing 
further into the country, drove the Indians 
from one of their smaller towns which he 
also destroyed. 

The little army, which had been entirely 
successful in all of its movements, now re- 
turned to Kentucky, after inflicting such 
damage upon their implacable savage foes as 
to protect Kentucky for nearly two years 
from further incursions of large forces, 
though small, skulking bands slipped across 
the Ohio occasionally to burn and kill as op- 
portunity presented. 

Colonel John Floyd, writing to Governor 
Jefferson in April, 1781, said: "We are 
obliged to live in forts in this country and 
notwithstanding all the caution that we use, 
forty-seven inhabitants have been killed or 
taken prisoners by the savages, besides a 
number wounded, since January last. 

"Whole families are destroyed without re- 
gard to age or sex. Infants are torn from 
their mothers' arms and their brains dashed 
out against trees, as they are necessarily mov- 
ing from one fort to another for safety or 
convenience. Not a week passes, and some 
weeks scarcely a day, without some of our 

distressed inhabitants feeling the fatal effect 
of the infernal rage and fury of these execra- 
ble hell-hounds." 

The Indians had not been idle. Whether 
on their own initiative or following the ad- 
vice of the British officers, who had instigated 
many of their raids into Kentucky, cannot be 
said, but they began, about this time, a con- 
federation of all the tribes of the northwest, 
the object of which w'as the driving out of 
Kentucky the white man. It has been stated 
elsewhere in this work that Kentucky while, 
in a general sense, never the permanent home 
of the Indian, was his favorite hunting 
ground, and it would have required but little 
inducement from the English officers to send 
the savages into the territory. This induce- 
ment was in the shape of guns and ammuni- 
tion far superior to the primitive bow and 
arrow and the tomahawk. The Indian took 
kindly to the new weapons and vainly imag- 
ined that with them in his hands he was the 
equal of the white man. A confederation of 
the Wyandottes, Cherokees, Pottawattomies, 
Tawas, Delawares, Shawnees and other tribes 
living nearer the Mississippi river or the 
lakes was formed. There was an agreement 
that representatives of these tribes should 
assemble at Chillicothe in the summer of 
1782 and, proceeding to Kentucky, should 
drive out the whites, burning their homes and 
securing their property. The British author- 
ities, to their everlasting dishonor be it said, 
had promised aid and comfort to the savages 
on this red mission bent. 

While these preparations for a murderous 
descent upon Kentucky were being arranged 
events of the most momentous character were 
transpiring in Virginia. Cornwallis, at the 
head of his army, had marched to Yorktown 
all imconscious that he was there to meet his 
fate and that at that little Virginia town he 
was to see laid the corner-stone of the inde- 
pendence of the colonies, and the real begin- 
ning of the United States of America, the 



greatest world-power of today. On October 
19, 1 78 1, the haughty British general had laid 
down the arms of his men at the command of 
that Virginian gentleman and soldier, George 
Washington, at whose wise counsel another 
English officer. General Braddock, had 
sneered years before, refusing to hear the ad- 
vice of a young colonial officer who dared to 
instruct a British general in Indian warfare. 
He had paid for his arrogance with his own 
life and that of many of his men, and now 
another British general had been humbled by 
that same young colonial officer. 

The pioneer? of Kentucky learning long 
after the event, that Cornwallis had surrend- 
ered, deemed the war with England at an end 
and hoped that they might now proceed in 
peace to till their fields, no longer fearing the 
attack of the savage or the ravages of his de- 
stroying torch. But not long did they indulge 
in this golden dream of peace, for, in the 
:Spring of 1782, the confederated savage bands 
began their premeditated attacks with a 
ferocity hitherto unknown. The savages 
knew that disaster had come to their English 
allies in Virginia and felt that this efifort to 
drive the white man from Kentucky was 
probably the last they could ever make. Win- 
ning now, they hoped that it was for all time ; 
losing now, they felt that it was a final loss 
and that the hunting ground of Kentucky 
would never again be theirs. So their efforts 
were more desperate than they had before 
made. Throughout the three counties they 
raged, massacres and burnings marking their 
course as they had never done before, every 
section feeling the force of their attacks, few 
families escaping from adding to the death 
roll. Suddenly the savage forces withdrew 
from Kentucky and by August quiet reigned, 
and there seemed to be not one Indian in the 
three counties. But the whites had grown 
wise from experience and knowing that the 
Indians would return in yet greater force, be- 
gan to prepare for defense. Not knowing 

before which fort they would appear prep- 
arations were made at all the stations to re- 
ceive them, the outlying settlers, meanwhile, 
deserting their homes and taking refuge in 
the forts. 

While Kentucky was thus preparing to re- 
sist the expected invasion, the confederated 
tribes were busy at Chillicothe arranging for 
another attack. In this they were aided by a 
detachment of English soldiers under com- 
mand of Capt. William Campbell. Here also, 
was the white renegade, Simon Girty, more 
thoroughly a savage brute than any of the 
red men whom he incited to murder. He 
made an impassioned appeal to his savage 
followers, inciting them to deeds of un- 
equalled ferocity, telling of the recent attacks 
upon their towns and their destruction, call- 
ing them to recall the f -mer beauties of their 
hunting grounds and their destruction by the 
white men, exhorting them to an elTort, per- 
haps their last one, to drive out the settlers 
and renew their sovereignty over the beauti- 
ful land. Other speeches of like tenor, full 
of the rude but forceful eloquence of the In- 
dian, were made and the savage army began 
its march upon the Kentucky settlements full 
of a revengeful spirit and ready for any and 
all deeds of violence. They moved forward 
so quietly that they appeared before Bryan's 
station upon the Elkhorn, near where the 
beautiful little city of Lexington now stands, 
on August 15, 1782, without a man in the 
station having knowledge of their presence. 
There were but forty-four men in the station 
to resist four hundred. These had prepared 
to go to the support of a near-by station, 
when the firing of guns in their own vicinity 
attracted attention. A small body of savages 
was in view, firing their guns, uttering their 
demoniac yells and indulging in characteristic 
gestures, the latter of which w^ere of a nature 
to infuriate the whites to the highest degree. 
Thirteen men were sent from the fort to re- 
turn the fire of this party in the hope of thus 



developing the larger party believed to be 
lurking in the forest. The ruse succeeded, 
for no sooner had this small party made its 
attack than Caldwell, the British commander, 
attacked the fort on the opposite side, believ- 
ing the thirteen men who had come out to be 
the entire force of the garrison. He was 
speedily convinced of his error, as the men 
remaining within the fort delivered so heavy 
a fire upon his forces as to speedily drive 

promised protection to all, declaring, at the 
same time, that if compelled to capture the 
fort by a direct attack, he would not be re- 
sponsible for after events. The idea of this 
worse than savage brute promising immunity 
from outrage never appealed to those who 
knew his demoniacal nature and cruel career, 
and a young man named Reynolds, as spokes- 
man for those in the fort, informed Girty 
that those within the fort were not going to 

PiRVAn'.s Station" Spkim;, Lk.xixgto.v 

them back into the woods. Caldwell now be- 
gan a siege of the fort in characteristic fash- 
ion, but without success. Having no artillery, 
he was unable to beat down the stockade and 
the men within, being acquainted with every 
device of savage warfare, were enabled to 
successfully resist every attack. The rene- 
gade, Simon Girty, finding the savage wiles 
of no effect, came under a flag of truce and 
declared to the gallant defenders that further 
resistance was useless, as he was in moment- 
ary expectancy of the arrival of artillery 
with which he would have no difficulty in 
beating down their defenses and capturing 
the garrison. Demanding a surrender, Girty 

surrender ; that they expected immediate re- 
inforcements ; that the whole country was 
coming to their rescue and that if "Girty and 
his gang of murderers" remained twenty-four 
hours longer before the fort, their scalps 
would be found drying in the sun upon the 
roofs of their cabins. 

Girty and Caldwell must have been im- 
pressed by the assurance of young Reynolds 
for, on the following morning, their camp was 
found to be deserted. The net casualties of 
the siege among the occupants of the fort 
amounted to four men killed, while the sav- 
ages had lost about thirty men. The Indians 
decided to change their position and follow- 



ing a buffalo trail, set out for the Lower Blue 
Licks, leaving behind them every indication 
that they desired to be followed, some of the 
savages even marking their line of march by 
cutting the trees along their route with toma- 

An important incident of this siege, which 
showed the brave spirit of the pioneer women 
of Kentucky, must be noted. The fort had 
unfortunately been located apart from the 
spring by which water was supplied and 
when the siege was first begun the Indians, 
before their presence was known, had placed 
a party in ambush about this spring. By 
this device they hoped to capture or destroy 
any party leaving the fort for water, at the 
same time making a counter-attack upon the 
opposite side of the stockade. Those within 
the fort soon discovered the presence of the 
savages and understood their designs. To 
send out a party of men for water meant cer- 
tain death for them and probably for those in 
the fort. Strategy must be used and the final 
decision was of a most desperate character. 
It was decided that the women of the fort 
should be the water bearers. They at first 

demurred, explaining that the Indians had 
hitherto not shown any particular discrimina- 
tion in the matter of scalps, taking as readily 
those of the women as those of the men who 
fell into their hands. They were told in re- 
ply that the Indians were accustomed to seeing 
women go to the spring each morning and see- 
ing them go now, would imagine that their 
presence was yet unknown and would there- 
fore, not disturb them. If the men went, the 
savages would know that their presence had 
been discovered and would not only fire upon 
them, but would begin their attack upon the 
fort. These brave women did not long hes- 
itate, the boldest at once declaring their will- 
ingness to make the effort while the others 
soon joined them and together they moved 
down to the spring, filled their vessels and re- 
turned to the fort unmolested by the Indians. 
Xo braver deed than this -marked the early 
settlement of Kentucky ; gallant as were the 
brave men who erected the new state under 
savage fire, none were so brave as these 
mothers, wives and daughters of Bryan's 


Terrible Ambush at Blue Lick — Gathering of Fugitives — Fate of Prisoners — Massa- 
cre AT Kinxheloe's Station — Xo Peace for Kentucky — Another Appeal to Mother 
V^iRGiNiA — Logan on the Blue Lick Affair — Todd on the Blue Lick Disaster — 
Even Boone Depressed. 

News of the attack upon Bryan's Station 
spread rapidly and at once reinforcements 
began their march to the beleaguered fort and 
to pour into the station. One hundred and 
eighty horsemen arrived on the night follow- 
ing the raising of the siege. Among these 
was Daniel Boone who, in a letter to Gov- 
ernor Harrison dated August 30, 1782, stated 
almost one third of this force was composed 
of commissioned officers. This is not to say 
that these officers were not as brave and effi- 
cient as the privates. It is but another proof 
that in those early days, as in these, there 
were many colonels who had no regiments. 

It was determined in a council of war to 
begin an immediate pursuit of the retreating 
savages, without awaiting the arrival of 
Colonel Logan, who was known to be coming 
at the head of three hundred men. It is be- 
lieved that Boone opposed this hurried ad- 
vance. Expert as he was in Indian warfare, 
he readily deciphered the signs so ostenta- 
tiously left by the Indians on their line of 
march. To him they spelled danger; they 
were intended to deceive and to invite an at- 
tack upon what they supposed was a flying 
and demoralized force, but which, in reality, 
was strong and not only ready but anxious to 
be attacked. Coming within sight of the 
Licking river, the pursuers saw a small party 
of Indians on a leisurely retreat. The hot- 

heads desired to attack at once. Boone, wis- 
est in Indian warfare of any of the party, 
advised against precipitancy, urging that the 
Indian force was undoubtedly strong and not 
only ready but anxious for battle. He in- 
sisted upon delay until Colonel Logan and his 
men arrived, but while he was thus using his 
knowledge of savage warcraft. Major Mc- 
Gary, one of the hotheads, spurred his horse 
into the river, calling out: "Those who are 
not cowards, follow me; I will show them 
where the Indians are." Upon this reckless 
challenge, the entire party moved forward, 
attacking the Indians with much bravery but 
without any organized system. The enemy 
appeared to retreat in much disorder, drawing 
the whites on until they came to a point on the 
ridge where two ravines, one on either side of 
their path, afforded the Indians an excellent 
opportunity for an ambuscade of which they 
had taken full advantage; for in these ravines 
was hidden their entire force and from them 
they poured a merciless fire upon the whites 
resulting in a panic among the latter. Before 
a retreat could be effected the Indians ex- 
tended their lines and completely surrounded 
the attacking party. At this moment, Boone's 
son was killed in the father's presence. The 
elder Boone attempted with some of his fol- 
lowers to gain the ford, only to find it in pos- 
session of the enemy. Retracing his steps to 



one of the ravines in which the Indians had 
first hidden, he, and a small number of men, 
succeeded in crossing the river and by a cir- 
cuitous way, finally returned in safety to 
Bryan's station. 

The death roll was heavy at the river. Sur- 
rounded on every hand, the gallant men 
fought desperately for their only means of 
escape. The water was filled with a mass of 
horsemen, men on foot and Indians engaged 
in a life and death struggle. Many were 
killed ; some who could not swim were 
drowned, while a few swimmers made their 

There was a man named Netherland who 
had been suspected of cowardice, who at the 
ford showed the stuff of which heroes are 
made and proved the injustice of the charge 
that had been held against him. Owing to 
the e.xcellence of his horse, he had escaped 
across the river in advance of some twenty 
other mounted men, which latter showed an 
inclination to continue their flight until a point 
of safety was reached, leaving their friends to 
continue the struggle alone and arrange their 
retreat as best they could. Netherland. plac- 
ing himself in front of these mounted men, 
called upon them in a loud voice to halt, fire 
upon the Indians and aid in the rescue of 
those of their comrades who w-ere in a life 
and death struggle in the river. These men, 
encouraged by Netherland's gallant challenge, 
promptly faced to the rear pouring at the 
same time a deadly fire into the front of the 
savage ranks. The Indians fell back under 
this galling fire to the opposite side of the 
Licking, thus giving opportunity to the whites 
struggling in the water to escape. This re- 
pulse, however, was but momentary. Driven 
back by Netherland and his men from the 
ford, the savages began crossing above and 
below that point, and the flight became a rout, 
"every man for himself" with no semblance 
of military discipline. The Indians pursued 
for about twenty miles, inflicting but little fur- 

ther damage, owing to the whites having scat- 
tered. By circuitous routes the survivors 
made their way back to Bryan's station, from 
which they had but a short time before taken 
their departure full of high hopes of victory 
and the determination to drive the Indians 
from the country after inflicting upon them 
such punishment as would forever deter them 
from another concerted attack upon the sta- 

Smith says: "The loss in this battle was 
heavier than had been experienced in any 
other contest that had ever taken place with 
the savages on Kentucky soil, and carried 
distress and mourning into half the houses in 
Kentucky. Of the one hundred and eighty 
men engaged, sixty were killed and seven 
taken prisoners. Colonels Todd and Trigg 
were especially deplored for their eminent 
social and private, as well as their public 
worth. Of Major Harlan it was the common 
sentiment that no officer was braver and more 
beloved in the field." 

Colonel Logan's force was within less than 
a day's march of the battlefield when the 
fateful contest occurred. The advance guard 
of Logan's command met the fugitives from 
Blue Lick and returned to Brj-an's station, 
there to await the coming of the main body 
of the command. When the force was again 
united, they marched to the scene of the late 
battle to fight the Indians if any remained; 
to bury the dead if the savages had with- 
drawn. Arriving at noon on the following 
day they found that the Indians had gone, 
leaving on the field the mutilated bodies of 
the slain. There were buried on the field 
where they had sacrificed their lives in vain 
because Major McGary had more of rash- 
ness than of soldierly judgment in his mental 
make-up. More than one soldier has need- 
lessly gone to his death on other and later 
fields than that of Blue Lick by reason of the 
same lack of soldierly judgment upon the part 
of his commanding officer, a fact to which the 



soldiers wlio fought in the grand battles of the 
War Between the States will readily testify. 

In Boone's Narrative a commonly credited 
report is narrated to the effect that after the 
battle, the Indians found that of their number 
four more had been killed than of the whites, 
whereupon four of their seven white prison- 
ers were killed in order that the score might 
be even. The tradition continues, relating 
that the three remaining prisoners, McMur- 
try, Rose and Yocum were treated with sav- 
age brutality, being required, among other 
sufl'erings and indignities, to three times run 
the gauntlet. At last they were condemned, 
in accordance with the custom of savages, to 
be burned at the stake. To this end they were 
tied to stakes and the faggots kindled 'to burn 
them. A thunder storm, accompanied by a 
heavy downfall of rain, occurred at this op- 
portune moment and extinguished the flames. 
The Indian is superstitious and religious after 
his own fashion, and accepting the thunder 
and rain as a manifestation of displeasure 
upon the part of the Great Spirit at the deed 
they were about to commit, they desisted from 
further attempts to burn their prisoners and 
afterwards treated them kindly as beings un- 
der the especial protection of the Great Spirit 
whom, according to their dim light, they wor- 

The main Indian force returned after the 
battle to Ohio, but some of their allies sought 
their return home by another route which 
brought them into touch with the settlements 
in Jefferson county, where they hoped to fall 
upon the unprotected and scattered settle- 
ments murdering the inhabitants ; plundering 
and burning their homes. 

Colonel Floyd early learned of their com- 
ing and ordered out a force to patrol the sec- 
tion where they were expected to first appear. 
Of these troops Collins says: "Some of this 
party were from Kincheloe's station on Simp- 
son's creek in what is now Spencer county, 
where six or seven families resided. On the 

1st of September, the militia, unable to dis- 
cover any Indians, dispersed and returned to 
their homes. There had been no alarm at 
Kincheloe's station during the absence of the 
men and, upon reaching home late in the eve- 
ning much fatigued and without apprehension 
of danger, they retired to rest. At the dead 
hour of night, when the inmates of the station 
were wrapped in the most profound sleep, the 
Indians made a simultaneous attack upon the 
cabins of the station and breaking open the 
doors, commenced a massacre of men, women 
and children. The unconscious sleepers were 
awakened but to be cut down, or to behold 
their friends fall by their side. A few only, 
availing themselves of the darkness of the 
night, escaped the tomahawk or captivity, 
.^mong those who escaped was Mrs. Davis 
whose husband was killed, and another 
woman whose name is not known. They fled 
to the woods, where they were fortunately 
joined by a lad by the name of Ash, who con- 
ducted them to Cox's station. 

"Wm. Harrison, after placing his wife and 
a young woman of the family, vmder the floor 
of the cabin, made his escape under cover of 
the darkness. He remained secreted in the 
neighborhood until he was satisfied the In- 
dians had retired when he returned to the 
cabin and liberated his wife and her compan- 
ion from their painful situation. 

"Thomas Randolph occupied one of the 
small cabins with his wife and two children, 
one an infant. The Indians succeeded in 
breaking into his house and, although they 
outnumbered him four or five to one, he stood 
by his wife and children with heroic firmness. 
He had succeeded in killing several Indians, 
when his wife and the infant in her arms were 
both murdered by his side. He instantly placed 
the remaining child in the loft, then, mounting 
himself, made his escape through the roof. 
As he alighted on the ground from the roof 
of the cabin, he was assailed by two of the 
savages whom he had just forced out of the 



house. With his knife he inflicted a severe 
wound upon one and gave the other a stun- 
ning blow with his gun, when they both re- 
treated. Freed from his foes, he snatched up 
his child, plunged into the forest and was soon 
beyond the reach of danger. 

"Several women and children were cruelly 
put to death after they were made prisoners, 
on their way to the Indian towns. On the sec- 
ond day of her captivity, Mrs. Bland made her 
escape in the bushes. Totally unacquainted 
with the surrounding country, and destitute 
of a guide, for eighteen successive days she 
wandered through the woods without seeing 
a human face, without clothes and subsisting 
on sour grapes and green walnuts, until she 
became a walking skeleton. On the eight- 
eenth day she was accidentally discovered 
and taken to Linn's station, where, by kind 
treatment and careful nursing, her health and 
strength were soon restored." 

There is another interesting story connected 
with the capture of Kincheloe's station. 
Among the prisoners taken by the Indians 
there was a Mrs. Polk and her foiu" children. 
She was in extremely delicate health and was 
compelled to walk until almost exhausted. An 
Indian brandished a tomahawk and threatened 
her with death, at which another Indian inter- 
posed and saved her life. This latter Indian, 
having about him an instinct of humanity, 
and recognizing the delicate condition of the 
prisoner, took her into his care, and mounting 
her and two of her children on a horse, took 
her safely to Detroit. Here a British trader 
purchased her and her children from her cap- 
tors. By some means she sent a letter to her 
husband, who had been absent from the sta- 
tion at the time of the attack, and he at once 
visited Detroit, where he regained his wife 
and children with whom he returned to Ken- 
tucky. The remaining prisoners, left alive, 
were permitted to return to their homes in 
Kentucky after the declaration of peace be- 

tween England and the United States in the 
following year. 

The optimists hoped that the close of the 
War of the Revolution would bring peace to 
those who had pressed forward into the wil- 
derness to make homes for their families ; that 
the specious inducements, offered by English 
officers, to savages, to raid white settlements 
and murder women and children, would fall 
into disuse, and that the Kentucky pioneer 
would thereafter be left to till his fertile fields 
in safety undisturbed by the sound of an Eng- 
lish gun carried by a savage. 

Col. John Mason Brown, a descendant of 
the early Kentucky pioneers, and himself a 
distinguished son of Kentucky, whose mod- 
esty was only surpassed by his great capacity, 
says of this period : 

"The spring of the year 1782 opened upon 
what, indeed, seemed an era of prosperity and 
security for the west. The surrender of Lord 
Cornwallis at Yorktown, in the preceding au- 
tumn, had ended the War of Independence. 
Peace with England brought with it a recog- 
nized .\merican title to the great northwest 
as far as the lakes and beyond Detroit. The 
splendid dream of Clark, which none but Jef- 
ferson seemed fully to comprehend, was ful- 
filled in the cession of an empire. Strong men 
had come in numbers to seek fortune and ad- 
venture in the brakes and forests of Kentucky. 
Brave women encountered the hardships of 
the frontier and followed husbands and fath- 
ers into the wilderness. Families had been 
established and children had been born to the 
pioneers. Already was cradled the generation 
of riflemen destined to crush, in after years, 
the great confederation of Tecumseh, and to 
assure the northern boundary of the Union." 

That the whites had a reason to e.xpect a 
cessation of Indian atrocities after the decla- 
ration of peace between the United States and 
England, as stated by Colonel Brown, was en- 
tirely reasonable, but the deadly affair at Blue 



Lick showed that however peace may have 
come in a general sense, there was yet war for 
them and that the sturdy "backwoodsmen of 
Kentucky" had still to fight for home, wife 
and children. 

Recognizing this fact and the dangers that 
surrounded them, Daniel Boone, Levi Todd, 
Robert Patterson, R. Netherland (the latter 
of whom had been called a coward and who 
was really the hero of Blue Lick), William 
Henderson, John Craig and others of the Ken- 
tucky pioneers, addressed the following memo- 
rial to Governor Harrison of Virginia: 

"The officers, civil as well as military, of this 
county, beg the attention of Your Excellency and the 
Honorable Council. The number of the enemy that 
lately penetrated into our country, their behavior 
and, adding to this, our late unhappy defeat at the 
Blue Licks, fill us with the greatest concern and 
anxiety. The loss of our worthy officers and sol- 
diers who fell there the igth of August, we sensibly 
feel and deem our situation truly alarming. We can 
scarcely behold a spot of earth but what reminds us 
of the fall of some fellow adventurer, massacred by 
savage hands. Our number of militia decreases. 
Our widows and orphans are numerous; our officers 
and worthiest men fall a sacrifice. In short. Sir, 
our settlement hitherto formed at the sacrifice of 
treasure and much blood, seems to decline, and if 
something is not speedily done we doubt not will be 
wholly depopulated. The Executive, we believe, 
thinks often of us and wishes to protect us. but we 
believe that any military operations that for eighteen 
months have been carried on in obedience to orders 
from the Executive have been rather detrimental 
than beneficial. Our militia are called upon to do 
duty in a manner that has a tendency to protect Jef- 
ferson county, or rather Louisville, a town without 
inhabitants, and a fort situated in such manner that 
an enemy coming with a design to lay waste our 
country would scarcely come within one hundred 
miles of it ; and our own frontiers are open and un- 
guarded. Our inhabitants are discouraged. It is 
now near two years since the division of the county 
and no surveyor has ever appeared among us, but 
has, by appointment, from time to time, deceived 
us. Our principal expectation of strength is from 
him. During his absence from the county claimants 
of land disappear, when if otherwise they would 
prove a source of additional strength. 

"We entreat the executive to examine into the 

cause and remove it speedily. If it is thought im- 
practicable to carry the war into the enemy's coun- 
try the plan of building a garrison at the mouth of 
the Limestone and another at the mouth of Licking, 
formerly prescribed by Your Excellency, might be 
again adopted and performed. A garrison at the 
mouth of Limestone would be a landing place for 
adventurers from the back parts of Pennsylvania 
and Virginia, adjacent to a large body of good land 
which would be speedily settled. It would be in the 
enemy's principal crossing place, not more than fifty 
miles from Lexington, our largest settlement, and 
might be readily furnished with provisions from 
above till they could be supplied from our settle- 
ments here. Major Netherland, we expect, will de- 
liver this. He will attend to give any additional 
information that may be deemed necessary. Hu- 
manity towards inhabitants, destitute of hope of 
any other aid will surely induce Your Excellency to 
spare from the interior parts of the state two hun- 
dred men and a few pieces of artillery for those pur- 
poses above mentioned." 

Col. Benjamin Logan on the 31st of August 
of the same year, wrote to Governor Harrison, 
as follows in relation to the affair at Blue 

"From the situation of the ground on which 
our men were drawn, I hardly know how it 
was possible for any to escape. I am inclined to 
believe that when Your Excellency and coun- 
cil become acquainted with the military opera- 
tions in this country, you will not think thein 
so properly conducted as to answer the general 
interests of Kentucky. From the accounts 
we had received by prisoners who had es- 
caped this spring, we were confident of an in- 
vasion by the Detroit Indians. Common safety 
then made some scheme of defense neces- 
sary. For this purpose I was called upon by 
General Clark to attend a council, and after 
consulting over matters, it was determined to 
build a fort at the mouth of the Licking. 
Shortly, I received his orders for one hundred 
men to attend this business with a certain 
number from Fayette. Before the day of the 
rendezvous, I was instructed to send the men 
to the Falls of the Ohio in order to build a 
strong garrison and a row-galley, thus by 



weakening one end to strengthen another. The 
upper part of the country was left exposed 
and the enemy, intercepting our plans, brought 
their intended expedition against the frontiers 
of Fayette. The immense expenses incurred 
by the state in this western country we know 
are enough to prevent the government from 
giving us further aid, but when Your Excel- 
lency and council are informed that the people 
have never been benefited by those expendi- 
tures, we still hope your compassion will be 
extended to a detached and distressed part of 
your country, as it is not in the power of the 
people to answer the misapplication of any- 
thing by a proper officer. General Irwin, com- 
manding at Fort Pitt as a Continental officer, 
might probably be of more assistance to this 
country, could he receive proper supplies from 
the state of Virginia, than any other measure 
that could be adopted, as he has the same ene- 
mies to encounter that trouble us and stores 
of every kind seem to be of little use to us, 
ammunition excepted. Colonel Trigg being 
killed, there is a field officer wanting in this 
county. I am at a loss how to proceed on the 
occasion, for all our magistrates have been 
killed except three, and there can be no court 
to send a recommendation. Colonel Harrod, 
who formerly acted as a colonel and who, ac- 
cording to seniority, ought to have received a 
commission, is now in being, and, I think a 
very proper person for that purpose." 

It is difficult to leave the narration of 
events connected with the disastrous affair at 
Blue Licks. Those who have been soldiers 
participating in great victories, or suffering 
the pangs of disastrous defeats, will recog- 
nize the fascination which holds a former sol- 
dier to the events of the fatal day at Blue 
Licks. Therefore no excuse need be offered 
for presenting here a copy of a letter written 
August 26, 1782, by Col. Levi Todd to his 
brother, Captain Robert Todd, giving further 
details of the battle: "Our men suffered 
much in retreat, many Indians having 

mounted our abandoned horses and having an 
open woods to pass through to the river, sev- 
eral were killed in the river. Efforts were 
made to rally, but in vain. Lie that could re- 
mount a horse was well off, and he that could 
not, saw no cause for delay. Our brother re- 
ceived a ball in his left breast and was on 
horseback when the men broke. He took a 
course that I thought dangerous and I never 
saw him afterwards. I suppose he never got 
over the river. Col. Trigg, Major Harlan, 
Major Bulger, Captains McBride, Gordon, 
Kinkead and Overton fell upon the ground ; 
also, our friend, James Brown. Our number 
missing is about seventy-five. I think the 
number of the enemy was about three hun- 
dred, but many of the men think five hundred. 
Col. Logan, with five hundred men, went upon 
the ground on the 24th and found and buried 
about fifty of our men. They were all stripped 
naked, scalped and mangled in such manner 
that it was hard to know one from another. 
Our brother was not known. 

"As people in different parts of the country 
will be anxious to know the names of the 
killed, I will add a list of what I can now re- 
member: Col. John Todd, Colonel Stephen 
Trigg, Major Silas Harlan, and Major Ed- 
ward Bulger; Captains William McBride, 
John Gordon, Joseph Kinkead, and Clough 
Overton; Lieutenants William Givens, John 
Kennedy, Joseph Lindsey, and — Rodgers; 
Ensign John McMurtry; Privates Francis 
McBride, John Price, James Ledgerwood, 
John Wilson, Isaac McCracken, Lewis Rose, 
Mathias Rose, Hugh Cunningham, Jesse Yo- 
cum, Wm. Eads, Esau Corn, Wm. Smith, 
Henry Miller, Ezekiel Field, John Folly, John 
Fry, Val Stern, Andrew McConnell, Surgeon 
James Brown, William Plarris, William Stew- 
art, William Stevens, Charles Ferguson, John 
Wilson, John O'Neal, John Stapleton, Daniel 
Greggs, Jervis Green, Dowry Polly, William 
Robertson, Gilbert Marshall, James Smith 
and Israel Boone." 



But for the rash conduct of Major Mc- 
Gary the dread result at Blue Licks would 
have been avoided. The logical duty of those 
in command was to await the arrival of the 
reinforcements under Colonel Logan, who 
were hastening to the assistance of their fel- 
low colonists. With these men the Indians 
would have been defeated and driven from 
the state, probably never to return in such 
organized form. McGary was of the type of 
brave man without judgment, and most griev- 
ously did his comrades pay for his rashness. 

The people were disheartened by this dis- 
astrous battle, even the lion-hearted Boone, 
sharing the general depression. Writing to 
Governor Harrison of \'irginia, he said : "I 
have encouraged the people in this country all 
that I could, but I can no longer justify them 
or myself to risk our lives here under such ex- 
traordinary circumstances. The inhabitants 
are very much alarmed at the thoughts of the 
Indians bringing another campaign into our 
country this fall. If this should be the case, 
it would break up these settlements." 


Great Campaign North of the Ohio — Creation of Kentucky — Clark Unappreciated by 
\'iRGi\iA — Boone's Later Years — At Xinety — Not Illiterate — Simon Kenton — 
"Proudest Day of his Life" — Clark's Large Plans — Floyd's Disaster on Long Run 
— Scene of Civil War Battle — Indians' Power Forever Broken. 

The desperation of Boone, as set forth in 
liis letter to Gov. Harrison, was a natural se- 
quence to the affair at Blue Lick. The brave 
old pioneer was almost in despair but there 
was a gallant, soldierly man in Kentucky who 
knew not the word despair and who had never 
abandoned the plan of carrying the war into 
the enemy's country. 

George Rogers Clark had been charged with 
expending his energies in defense of the set- 
tlements about Louisville, but, in fact, his sole 
idea was the relief of all the settlements. He 
proposed to strike so serious a blow to the 
Indian tribes as would forever prevent an- 
other incursion by them into Kentucky. He 
sent forth a call for volunteers before Boone's 
complaint had been made known. The gal- 
lant settlers rallied in immediate response, 
well knowing that with Clark as their leader 
there would be prompt and quick reprisal upon 
the savage enemy. 

Early in November, 1782, according to the 
best authorities, though some have named 
September as the month when they rallied, 
Clark found himself at the head of more than 
a thousand brave and determined men who 
had rallied to his call at the mouth of the 
Licking, opposite to what is now the great city 
of Cincinnati. With this force, early in No- 
vember, 1782, he moved across the Ohio river 
and on the evening of the loth surprised and 

captured the principal Shawnee town, de- 
stroying everything that was of no value to 
his troops. Col. Benjamin Logan, the splen- 
did soldier, who seemed to be always ready 
when there was active work to be done, a 
characteristic of the Logans to come after 
him, led a party of one hundred and fifty men 
against the British post at the head of the 
.Miami, which he captured, destroying vast 
(juantities of stores which the English had 
furnished to the Indians. The amount of 
these stores was a surprise to the invading 
forces, who had no idea that the savages had 
such substantial support from their English 

Clark remained for four days in the Indian 
country, but finding that he could not bring on 
A general engagement, as he so much desired, 
he withdrew his forces, owing to threatening 
weather and the near approach of winter. But 
he had taught the savages a useful lesson and 
afterward they made no formidable invasion 
of Kentucky. Small parties of Indians made 
subsequent incursions into the district, doing 
much damage, but there were no organized 
efl?orts after Clark's expedition into their 
country, though the English, even after the 
treaty of peace was signed, continued to in- 
cite the savages to deeds of violence against 
the white settlers along the American fron- 
tier. The English of today confront a situa- 




tion in India whicli must bring to the minds 
of those among them who are students of his- 
tory, lively recollections of the time when their 
ancestors incited the savages of the western 
world to slay the men, women and children 
who were of their own flesh and blood. Us- 
ing a familiar quotation one may say : "Their 
chickens are coming home to roost." 

Clark, Boone, Logan and the other splendid 
spirits who had acted in unison with them, had 
made practically impossible further organized 
raids into Kentucky by the Indians and the 
English — who not only encouraged the sav- 
ages but furnished them the equipments of 
warfare and accompanied them in their for- 
ays. They had done more than this ; they had 
all unconsciously, builded a state and paved 
the way for the addition of another star to 
the splendid flag of our country. Clark, at a 
later period, was offered a commission in the 
army of France which, owing to a proclama- 
tion of President Washington, he did not ac- 
cept. His heart was devoted to the freedom 
of Kentucky from English and savage domi- 
nation and, at this day, it appears that he was 
not amenable to the charge that he was leaving 
other parts of Kentucky unprotected from 
savage forays by calling troops to Louisville. 
The events of the period show that he had 
larger views than were held by his contempo- 
raries and that he sought by master strokes to 
destroy the Indian and English power to that 
effect which should protect not Louisville 
alone, but the entire territory of Kentucky. 
And the result of his last foray into the In- 
dian stronghold in Ohio proved the correct- 
ness of his plans, since there were never after- 
ward any invasions of Kentucky by organized 
bands of savages of any great force. 

Virginia was lacking in appreciation of 
George Rogers Clark, who had won for her 
and the Union an empire, and he lived and 
died in comparative obscurity. His grave is 
near Louisville, and there are few, if any, who 
give to the foremost of military geniuses who 

brought peace and happiness to the early set- 
tlers of that vicinity, even a careless thought. 
It is told that when Virginia, in the days of his 
poverty, sent him a sword in recognition of 
his great services, he broke it across his knee, 
exclaiming that "he had asked for bread and 
they had gave him a stone." George Rogers | 
Clark had won a principality for his country 
and died poor and neglected. Such is the 
gratitude of Republics. 

Daniel Boone, practically unlettered but not 
ignorant, risked his life a thousand times for 
the people of the new land. He made entries 
of the land he had helped to win from the 
savages, and because these were not technic- 
ally correct, he and those for whom he had 
acted as agent, were afterwards deprived of 
the fruits of his heroic efforts in behalf of the 
early settlers of our state. The intricate land 
laws, which were inherited from Virginia, 
were not understood by the old pioneer and he 
saw the fruits of his years of danger and pri- 
vation swept from him and his friends by the 
decisions of the courts and placed in the hands 
of those who had flocked to the new country 
when it was no longer dangerous to adventure 
thither. The grim old Indian fighter could 
calmly face danger, but would not brook in- 
justice. He broke up his home in Kentucky 
and removed to Virginia. There he became, 
subsequently, a member of the legislature and 
in what is now West Virginia, Boone county 
attests the esteem in which he was held by his 
new associates. From Virginia he pushed out 
to the then frontier of Missouri, "far from the 
haunts of men," where he could breathe freely 
and not feel the touch of mankind that might 
be unfriendly. He settled in what is now Cal- 
loway county, in that state, about seventy-five 
miles above the mouth of the Missouri river, 
where he led a quiet life, engaged mostly in 
hunting, until Sept. 20, 1820, when he died. 
His remains and those of his wife were subse- 
quently removed to Kentucky and re-interred 
in the State Cemetery at Frankfort, .Septem- 



ber 13, 1845, where a modest and appropri- 
ate monument in their honor was erected. This 
monument, in the succeeding years was de- 
faced by relic hunters to such an extent that 
the good women of Kentucky in the recent 
past, have had it restored and it is now pro- 
tected from vandal hands by an iron railing. 

Chester Harding, the portrait painter, who 
visited Boone shortly before the latter's death, 
for the purpose of painting his portrait, has 
left, in his autobiography, the following word 
picture of the old pioneer. "In June of this 
year, 1820, I made a trip of one hundred miles 
for the purpose of painting the portrait of 
Colonel Daniel Boone. I had much trouble 
in finding him. He was living some miles 
from the main road in one of the cabins of an 
old block-house, which was built for the pro- 
tection of the settlers against the massacres 
of the Indians. I found that the nearer I got 
to him the less was known of him. When 
within two miles of his house, I asked a man 
to tell me where Colonel Boone lived. He said 
he did not know such a man. 'Why, yes you 
do,' said his wife, 'it is that white-headed old 
man who lives on the bottom near the river;' 
a good illustration of the proverb that a 
prophet is not without honor save in his own 
country. I found the object of my search en- 
gaged in cooking his dinner. He was lying on 
his back near the fire and had a long strip of 
venison wound around his ramrod and was 
busy turning it before a bush fire and using 
salt and pepper to season his meal. I at once 
told him the object of my visit. I found that 
he hardly knew what I meant. I explained 
the matter to him and he agreed to sit. He 
was nearly ninety years old and rather in- 
firm ; his memory of passing events was much 
impaired, yet he would amuse me every day 
by anecdotes of his early life. I asked him 
one day, just after his description of one of 
his long hunts, if he ever got lost, having no 
compass. 'No,' said he, 'can't say as ever I 
was lost, but I was bewildered once for three 

Vol. 1—6. 

days.' (Those of good memory will recall 
that this statement of Boone's is related else- 
where in the preceding chapters.) He was as- 
tonished at seeing his likeness. He had a 
very large progeny. A grand-daughter had 
eighteen children, all at home near the old 
man's cabin ; they were even more astonished 
at the picture than the old man himself." 

There is a common belief among those who 
have thought enough about it to have any 
opinion at all, that Boone was wholly illiter- 
ate; knew nothing even of reading, and, in 
proof of this, cite the fact that he employed a 
system of orthography wholly unknown to 
polite literature. They adopt as true the 
apochryphal statements of newspapers that 
beech trees are occasionally found bearing 
still upon their smooth bark the inscription, 
"D. Boone, cilled a bar." Killing bears was 
so much a matter of course with pioneers in a 
new country that it is difficut to imagine Boone 
stopping to blazon forth upon a beech tree evi- 
dences of his prowess, where there were none 
others than himself to see the record. It is 
quite within the range of possibilities that he 
was far more interested in seeing that no In- 
dian "cilled D. Boone" than that the world 
should know that he had killed a bear. 

Boone was not illiterate ; his letters hitherto 
quoted herein prove that fact; his spelling 
may have been and probably was not in ac- 
cord with the accepted standards of today, but 
that it was a further departure therefrom than 
that of our latter day spelling reformers can- 
not be admitted. Boone was a surveyor of 
lands and illiterates cannot make surveys nor 
correctly report their results. 

In a sketch entitled, "The Settlement of 
Kentucky," written by Col. J. Stoddard John- 
ston and' published in 1908, that accomplished 
gentleman says: "It was not until 1769 that 
the step was taken which proved to be the 
forerunner of the permanent settlement of 
Kentucky, when Daniel Boone, with five com- 
panions, came through Cumberland Gap to 



the valley of Red River, a tributary of the 
Kentucky, and built a cabin on a creek which 
they called Lulbegrud. which forms the east- 
ern boundary of Qark county, and passed 
some time in hunting and exploring the adja- 
cent territory. That they were not illiterate 
or obscure men, is shown, not only from the 
fact that the descendants of several of them 
were afterwards conspicuous for their capac- 
ity and public services, but from the circum- 
stance of the naming of the creek upon which 
they located their camp, which appears as such 
on the map of Filson of 1784, as also, upon 
those of the present day. There is no page of 
American history more full of romance than 
this incident. The name was evidently adopted 
from Dean Swift's 'Gulliver's Travels," first 
published in 1726, in which it is spelled Lor- 
bulgrud, and designated by the author in the 
text as the capital of Brobdingnag, which, he 
says, was in California, and that it was sit- 
uated in the interior 3,000 miles from the Pa- 
cific coast. It was long a puzzle to me how 
these crude hunters came to select it and it 
was not solved until the following deposition 
of Daniel Boone was found in comparatively 
recent years, of record in the county clerk's 
office of Clark county, of which Winchester 
is the county seat : 

'Deposition of Daniel Boone ; from original 
in Deposition Book No. i, page 156, Clark 
county, Kentucky: 

The deposition of Daniel Boone, being of lawful 
age, taken before us, the subscribing Commission- 
ers, the 15th of September, 1796, being first duly 
sworn, deposeth and sayeth that in the year 1770, "I 
encamped on Red river, with five other men, and 
we had with us for our amusement the 'History of 
Lemuel Gulliver's Travels,' wherein he gave an ac- 
count of his young Master Grumdelick carrying him 
on a market day to a town called Lulbegrud. A young 
man of the company called Alexander Neely came to 
camp one night and told us he had been to Lulbeg- 
rud and had killed two Brobdignags at the capital. 
And further deponent sayeth not. 

(Signed) "D. Boone. " 

"A singular coincidence in the case is that 

the creek to which this name was given is just 
about 3,000 miles from the Pacific coast, 
which Swift indicates as the distance thence 
of the capital of Brobdingnag. 

"An additional item of interest in this con- 
nection is that the identical copy of Swift's 
works which afTorded amusement to these 
pioneers entombed in the forest and cane- 
brakes of Kentucky, and liable to be at any 
time subject to the attack of Indians, which 
later proved fatal to most of them, is to be 
found in the library of Col. R. T. Durrett of 
Louisville, in an excellent state of preserva- 
tion. It consists of two duodecimo volumes 
bound in calf and illustrated with numerous 
excellent copperplate engravings, and bears 
the following title : 'The Works of Dr. Jona- 
than Swift, Dean of St. Patrick's, accurately 
revised in twelve volumes ; adorned with cop- 
perplates with some account of the Author's 
life and notes historical. By John Hawkes- 
worth, LL. D., London. Printed for C. 
Bathurst, T. Osborne, W. Bowyer, J. Hinton, 
W. Strahan, B. Collins, J. Rivington, R. Bald- 
win, L. Davis, C. Reymers and L. Dodsley, 


From the number of names given above for 
whom "Swift's Travels" were printed one 
may imagine that the publishing business was 
in 1756, as in 1910, a possibly hazardous one 
and that these gentlemen named above desired, 
so far as they might, to divide the responsi- 
bility among a number, thus lessening the 
financial pressure upon each in the event of 
a failure. But that is apart from Boone's de- 
position and Lulbegrud creek. The latter still 
sends its placid waters on their course under 
the same curious but almost classic name in 
Qark county, and the little volumes repose in 
Colonel Durrett's library, mute testimonials 
to the correctness of Daniel Boone's deposi- 

A comrade of Boone, Clark and the other 
pioneers who blazed the way for civilization 
in Kentucky, was Simon Kenton, and it may 



be of interest to note liere that three counties 
of the State are honored by the names of these 
three brave men. Kenton was truly a Scotch- 
Irishman, his father being an Irishman and 
his mother a Scottish lady. He was born in 
Fauquier county, Virginia, April 13, 1755. 
Owing to the poverty of his parents, he se- 
cured but little education, but this fact did 
not prevent his playing a manly part in the 
struggles of the early settlers of Kentucky to 
redeem that fertile country from the savages 
and make it a fitting home for the thousands 
who were to come after him. Though he 
could spell no better, perhaps, than Daniel 
Boone, he was a precocious youth and like so 
many before and since his day, he was at six- 
teen deeply in love with a young woman of his 
vicinity. Unfortunately for Kenton, fortun- 
ately, perhaps, for Kentucky, the course of 
true love did not run smoothly for him, and 
he suffered the mortification of seeing a rival 
win the object of his affections. Men were 
rather primitive in those early days and Ken- 
ton, driven to despair by his failure to win 
the object of his affections, forced a quarrel 
and a fight upon his rival whom he left dying, 
as he supposed, at the end of the conflict. He 
fled horrified, to the wilderness of Kentucky, 
which he reached after much difficulty. Once 
again among his fellowmen, and fearing the 
awful hand of avenging justice, he changed 
his name to Simon Butler. Before reaching 
Kentucky to which he did not immediately 
come, he met and became acquainted with 
Simon Girty, who was afterwards to become 
the wickedest and most blood-thirsty rene- 
gade who ever led the Indians against the 

At Fort Pitt, Kenton fell in with John 
Strader and George Yeager, with whom he 
journeyed southward as far as the mouth of 
the Kentucky river, returning later to the 
Kanawha where they fished and hunted until 
the spring of 1773, when Yeager was killed 
by the Indians while lying in camp with his 

companions. Kenton and Strader, almost in 
a state of nudity, fled to the forest, where 
they wandered in a starving condition for six 
days, at the end of which time they reached 
the Ohio river, where they met a party of 
hunters from whom they received food and 
other assistance. In 1773, Kenton joined a 
party, en route to the surveying camp of the 
I'.ullitt ]3arty. Finding this finally deserted, 
they concluded that the Indians had murdered 
the surveyors, and returned to Virginia with 
Kenton as guide. Kenton subsequently re- 
turned to Kentucky and became a scout and 
guide of inestimable value to those conduct- 
ing e.xpeditions against the Indians, or going 
out to meet marauding parties of the latter. 
During the Miami Indian war, which covered 
the period of his second return from Ken- 
tucky, he had acted as a spy for Lord Dun- 
more and General Lewis, performing active 
and useful service. Receiving an honorable 
discharge, he came back to his old camp on 
the Big Sandy river in Kentucky, where he 
fell in with one Thomas Williams, and. to- 
gether, the two journeyed to a point near 
what is now Washington in Mason county, 
where they built a camp, cleared up ground 
and planted corn which they had received in 
exchange for furs sold to a French trader. 
The claim is made and probably correctly, 
that as a result of this planting Kenton and 
Williams ate the first roasting ears ever grown 
and eaten in Kentucky by white men. 

While performing an act of service to un- 
fortunate men who had lost their possessions 
by the overturning of their canoe, the camp of 
Kenton and Williams was plundered by In- 
dians who captured with it a hunter named 
Hendricks, whom they burned at the stake 
after the pleasant savage custom of the day. 
Later, in company with Michael Stoner, Ken- 
ton quitted this camp and proceeded to Hink- 
son's station in what is now Bourbon county. 

Subsequently Kenton, known to his asso- 
ciates as Butler, learned that the rival whom 



he thought he had killed in Virginia, was not 
killed after all, but was very much alive and 
living happily with the young wife who had 
been the cause of the difficulty which had 
driven Kenton into exile. Kenton continued 
his useful services to the people until there 
was no longer any danger from the Indians. 
Like Daniel Boone, he made entries of land, 
but these two pioneers and genuine fighting 
men, knew more about Indian warfare than 
of the intricacies of the land laws of their day, 
and subsequently saw much of the land they 
had entered and which they supposed was 
their own, pass into the hands of others, leav- 
ing them nearly as poor, in all save experi- 
ence, as when they first came into the prime- 
val wilds. 

Judge Lucius P. Little in his "Life of Ben 
Hardin," says that in 1825 Kenton came to 
Frankfort while the legislature was in session. 
"Seventy years old, poor, in tattered gar- 
ments, mounted on a poor horse, the old pio- 
neer entered the state capital, a stranger. He 
came seeking from the state that he had as- 
sisted so largely in reclaiming from the In- 
dians, a release of some of his mountain lands 
from taxes. While wandering about the 
streets, a desolate, lonely old man. General 
Fletcher, the representative from Montgomery 
county, met and knew him. He lost no time 
in having him decently clothed and kindly 
entertained. Kenton quickly became the ob- 
ject of great and hearty attention. He was 
taken to the capital while the legislature was 
in session, placed in the speaker's chair and 
introduced as the second greatest adventurer 
of the west to a crowded assembly of legis- 
lators, judges, officers of government and cit- 
izens. The simple-hearted old man called it 
'the proudest day of his life.' His lands, it 
is needless to say, were released." 

It is not within the proposed scope of this 
work to give a complete resume of the attacks 
by the Indians upon the Kentucky outposts 

and the defense against them. It is the rather 
proposed to move on rapidly to the events con- 
nected with the later history of the state. So 
many were the incursions of small parties of 
Indians into the new settlements that an inti- 
mate relation of the incidents of each would 
carry this story far beyond the bounds set 
for it. 

It has been stated elsewhere that a state- 
ment had been sent to the Governor of Vir- 
ginia, that Colonel Clark was neglecting the in- 
terior stations and concentrating his forces for 
the defense of Louisville alone. This was an 
error, perhaps excusable, as the pioneers were 
unequal to understanding the combinations in 
the mind of Clark. They defended stations 
singly and bravely ; he proposed not only to 
defend them with equal bravery, but to carry 
the war into the enemy's country and strike 
them blows of such severity that they would 
not again have the temerity to come within 
reach of the rifles of the Kentuckians. The 
pioneers fought detachments ; Clark, a bom 
soldier, fought the source of those detach- 
ments and so disintegrated them that they 
hesitated in their weakness to again risk them- 
selves within the range of the riflemen of 

Before concluding the story of the inter- 
mittent attacks by straggling Indians on the 
Kentucky settlements a reference must be 
made to any attack made by the Indians upon 
a party led by Col. John Floyd in Jefferson 
county, sixteen miles from Louisville. So se- 
rious had become the Indian attacks that 
Squire Boone, who had established a station 
upon Clear Creek in Shelby county, deter- 
mined to abandon it and to remove to Bear- 
grass near Louisville. While en route they 
were attacked by the Indians and dispersed 
with considerable loss on Long Run, eighteen 
miles from Louisville. Colonel Floyd, hear- 
ing of the disaster, hastily collected thirty men 
to pursue the Indians who, he supposed, 
would promptly retreat. His party was di- 



vided into two bodies, one commanded by him- 
self; the other by Capt. John Holden. The 
Indians had not retreated as Floyd expected, 
but had remained near the scene of their out- 
rage upon Boone's party. They led Floyd into 
an ambuscade of two hundred or more and 
killed, wounded and scalped more than half 
of the command, the latter bravely holding 
their ground until they were driven back by 
the tomahawk, and forced to retreat. Per- 
haps ten only of the Indians were killed. 
Colonel Floyd, while retreating on foot and 
nearly exhausted, was met by Capt. Samuel 
Wells, with whom he was not on friendly 
terms. Wells promptly dismounted, assisted 
Floyd to mount his horse alongside of which 
he ran, holding Floyd in the saddle. It seems 
wholly unnecessary to state, as others have 
done that from that day Colonel Floyd and 
Captain Holden were friends. 

The author may be pardoned for a personal 
reference at this point. The scene of Floyd's 
defeat is in full view of the spot on which he 
was born; on that unfortunate field stands to- 
day a monument erected by the state of Ken- 
tucky in honor of the brave men who fell in 
that battle. During the War between the 
States, this same author fought over the 
ground on which the forces of Floyd had met 
their savage enemies, but in this contest it was 
not the whites aaginst the reds, but the 
"grays" against the "blues ;" and the writer 
while in the ranks of the former, could look 
into the open doors of his boyhood home, only 

a short distance away, and see, also, shells 
bursting over the ball-grounds of the school 
he had attended but a year before. It was a 
little bit hotter than any other ball game in 
which he had ever contested on those grounds 
and when the umpire called the game, on ac- 
count of darkness, there was no protest from 
either the "Blues" or the "Grays." The score 
was nothing to nothing at the end of the 
ninth inning, and when the umpire so de- 
clared there seemed to be no one who was dis- 
posed to dispute his decision. 

That the Indian depredations in Kentucky 
should be considered as having ended because 
they are to be no longer referred to herein, is 
not correct. They came many times after- 
wards, and did many deeds of violence, but 
their power had been broken, and their deeds 
were not of so serious a character as before. 
They never again held Kentucky in their 
grasp, and this narrative must hurry forward 
on the theory that no Indian will disturb or 
make us afraid. There are hundreds of fami- 
lies in the state today whose forefathers met 
and overcome the difficult problems of the 
early settlement of the state and who are en- 
titled to have recognition in any history of the 
commonwealth. That the author of this work 
leaves out of consideration in that respect, his 
own people, who dared Indian depredations 
and helped to make the state, must be a part 
of his explanation for passing on to other 
incidents connected with the earliest history 
of Kentucky. 


Virginia's Gift to the Union — Cutting off of West Virginia — Danville Convention 
AND Statehood — First Kentucky Assembly — Petitioning Virginia for State- 
hood — Assemblymen From Four Counties — "Committee of the Whole" Reports — 
Of Yesterday, Yet of Today — Address to Virginia Legislature — Bearers of the 

In 1 78 1, Virginia, the splendid old Mother 
of States, offered to the acceptance of the 
Congress all the Northwest territory embraced 
within her charter, most of which had been 
won from the English and Indians by the 
genius of Clark, one of her vigorous sons, 
who, to the enthusiasm of the pioneer, united 
the genius of the soldier. This offer was ac- 
cepted in 1784 when a formal deed of trans- 
fer was made and recorded. Marshall, in his 
history, says of this transfer : 

"Thus, while emperors, kings and poten- 
tates of the earth fight, devastate and conquer 
for territory and dominion, the great state of 
V'irginia peacefully and unconstrained made a 
gratuitous donation to the common stock of 
the Union of a country over which she had 
proposed to erect ten new states, as future 
members of the Confederation. And to her 
honor be it remembered, that the favorable 
change which took place in the state of public 
affairs from a doubtful contest to acknowl- 
edged independence, tainted not the purity of 
her motive, shook not the firmness of her pur- 
pose nor varied the object of her policy. She 
conceded the right of dominion while Ken- 
tucky remained her most remote frontier and 
the Ohio, instead of the Mississippi, her north- 
western boundary. She had magnified lierself 
and secured her place in the Union on which 

she relied, as on her own arm, for its protec- 
tion antl durability." 

Reference has been made herein to the ex- 
tent of territory given by Virginia to the 
I 'nion and it may well be cited here in partic- 
ularity. Kentucky, the first-born and best 
beloved child of the Old Dominion, comprises 
about forty thousand square miles. 

.Smith, in his interesting and unusually cor- 
rect history of the state, thus states the extent 
of the other territory ceded by \'irginia to the 
General Government : 







Square Miles. 


Minnesota, east of the Mississippi 26,000 

Total 265,562 

Reduced to acres, this immense territory 
amounts to 169,959,680 acres, from sales of 
which the General Government has received 
over one hundred million dollars. Only Ken- 
tucky had been reserved ; the remainder had 
been unreservedly donated to the Government. 

And what was the reward X'irginia received 
for the granting of this princely domain? In 



the midst of war, when her fair fields re- 
sounded not to the step of the peaceful hus- 
bandman, but to the tread of the war-horse 
and the march of armed men, when she lay 
prostrate, the proud old state was robbed, by 
the CJEsarian process, of her mountains and 
her vales, and the pseudo state of West Vir- 
ginia set up as a component part of the Fed- 
eral Union. This rude process of forming a 
new state has been so long acceded to that it 
is not worth while now to discuss it further 
than to express the hope that no more states 
will be added to the Union by such a process. 
West Virginia is a prosperous state ; a next 
door and much respected neighbor of Ken- 
tucky, but one may be pardoned for an ex- 
pression of the belief that if she were Virginia 
instead of West Virginia she might be more 

That the author, who was a Confederate 
soldier, and who may therefore be thought to 
write with a prejudice from which he has as 
honestly sought to divorce himself as he has 
from intruding his personality in this work, 
may excuse himself from the charge of feel- 
ing in this respect, he reproduces here what 
Mr. Blaine said in "Twenty Years in Con- 
gress" of the measure which robbed the 
Mother of Kentucky of so fair a portion of 
her domain : 

"To the state of old Virginia the blow was 
a heavy one. In the years following the war 
it added seriously to her financial embarrass- 
ment, and in many ways obstructed her pros- 
perity. The anatomy of Virginia was alone 
disturbed. Upon her alone fell the penalty 
for secession which, if due to one, was due to 
all. Texas and Florida retained their public 
lands at the close of the war. Why were not 
these and others despoiled? Mexico was help- 
less in our hands when conquered by this 
country ; yet our high sense of justice would 
not permit the despoilment of our helpless 
neighbor. Fifteen millions were given her for 
the territorv we wanted. We went even fur- 

ther than this in our magnanimity and as- 
sumed to pay four millions more of debts due 
by Mexico to our own citizens. Americans 
can but feel a deep personal interest in the 
good name and good fortune of a state so 
closely identified with the renown of the re- 
public, with whose soil is mingled the dust of 
those to whom all states and all generations 
are debtors — the Father of His Country, the 
author of the Declaration of Independence, 
and chief projector of the national constitu- 
tion, the purest and wisest of statesmen." 

It would seem that after this quotation 
from Mr. Blaine, Kentucky, the eldest daugh- 
ter of Virginia, might rest herself in peace 
and leave to the Mother State the determina- 
tion of such questions as may yet exist be- 
tween her and her western neighbor. What 
has here been written finds a reason therefor 
in the fact that so closely is the early 
history of Kentucky interwoven with that of 
\"irginia that what effects the latter also 
touches the former. The daughter loves the 
mother with filial afifection. 

The people of Kentucky had now grown so 
numerous that the fear of Indian invasion was 
materially lessened and there grew a desire 
for an organization that should have more 
force politically than it had been possible to 
heretofore exhibit. They wanted self-govern- 
ment. Richmond, which had now become the 
chief city and capital of Virginia, was far dis- 
tant, the difficulties of travel were great, and 
the necessities demanded that the District 
should have an independent government. 
They had not long to wait for a pretext for 
the step which would lead them to the end 
sought. Colonel Benjamin Logan was foremost 
among the real leaders of the district, a fear- 
less soldier and something of a statesman ; a 
man who was the progenitor of a line which 
has ever stood in the forefront in Kentucky 
in whatever direction its Scotch-Irish mind 
was turned. They were and are a sturdy, 
hard-headed, loveable line, who cannot be 



turned from the point at which they beheve 
the right Hes, by any other means than a club 
wielded by one stronger than they. Colonel 
Logan learned in 1784 that the Cherokees and 
their allied tribes planned to invade the fron- 
tier of Kentucky to the south and that the In- 
dians to the northward were to simultaneously 
move against that part of the district bordered 
by the Ohio river. There had been no recent 
Indian incursions other than those made by 
small bands of marauders acting on their own 
initiative, but this proposed invasion threat- 
ened seriously. Colonel Logan therefore 
called a meeting at Danville, before which he 
laid the information he had and asked for sug- 
gestions as to how best the threatened inva- 
sion could be met. 

It was unanimously determined that a force 
should be raised to attack the Indians before 
the latter were ready for their proposed ad- 
vance into Kentucky. Then came the discov- 
ery that there was no one in the district quali- 
fied to call the militia into service, for offen- 
sive measures. This put an end to the pro- 
posed incursion into the enemy's country, per- 
haps a fortunate circumstance, as it turned 
out, since the threatened Indian invasion never 
took place. 

The Danville meeting, however, was of far- 
reaching impc~tance. While it failed of the 
defensive purpose for which it was called, it 
proved that the district was in every way 
equal to defending itself but that there was no 
law to justify such action save that of self- 
defense when attacked-. It was therefore de- 
termined to request Virginia to enact a law by 
which Kentucky should be enabled to organ- 
ize as a state and to enter the Union when ac- 
cepted by the congress. 

These men at Danville had come together to 
confer as to the best means for defending 
their homes against savage attack ; they con- 
cluded their deliberations by taking the steps 
which led after many delays and anxieties to 
placing another and a very bright star upon 
the flag of our Union. 

This was merely the initial step towards 
Union, a step taken with "reverence for the 
law," as AIcElroy states it. Realizing that the 
body there assembled was without authority, 
a recommendation was published that on a 
given day each military company in the dis- 
trict should elect a representative to meet with 
others chosen in like manner at Danville on 
December 27, 1784, to "devise if possible, 
some means of preserving their country from 
that immediate destruction which seemed then 
impending." The suggestion was well re- 
ceived and on the day thus named, these 
chosen representatives met at Danville and at 
once proceeded to a consideration of the busi- 
ness for which they had assembled. There 
was a prolonged debate upon the advisability 
of a separation from Virginia, which was 
listened to by many auditors not members of 
the assembly. Though differing in many 
other respects, there was no difference of 
opinion that, whatever was done, it should be 
strictly in accordance with the laws of Vir- 
ginia to which all gladly acknowledged allegi- 
ance. The final result of the deliberations 
was the adoption of a resolution providing 
tliat the citizens of Kentucky, at the next elec- 
tion of delegates to the Virginia legislature, 
should choose representatives who should 
meet in the following May with full power 
to petition the general assembly of Virginia 
for an act of separation, and through it, to 
petition congress for admission into the sister- 
hood of states. 

On the 23rd of May, 1785, the "Second 
Assembly of Kentucky," met at Danville, the 
result of which meeting was the following res- 
olutions : 

"I. Resolved (unanimously), as the opinion of 
this convention, That a petition be presented to the 
assembly praying that this district may be estab- 
lished into a state separate from Virginia. 

"II. Resolved (unanimously), as the opinion of 
this convention, That this district, when established 
into a state, ought to be taken into the Union with 
the United States of America, and enjoy equal priv- 
ileges in common with said states. 




"III. Resolved, That this convention recommend 
it to their constituents to elect deputies in their 
respective counties to meet in Danville on the second 
Monday of August next, to serve in convention and 
to continue by adjournment till the first day of April 
next, to take further under their consideration the 
state of the district. 

"IV. Resolved (unanimously). That the election 
of the deputies for the proposed convention ought to 
be on the principle of 'equal representation.' 

"V. Resolved, That the petition to the assembly 
for the assembling of this district into a state and 
the several resolves of the former and present con- 
ventions upon which the petition is founded, to- 
gether with all other matters relative to the mterests 
of the district that have been under their consider- 
ation, be referred to the future convention, so that 
such further measures may be taken thereon as they 
may deem proper." 

This assembly seems to have hesitated at 
the performance of the duty it was called upon 
to perform and to have shown a desire to shift 
upon other shoulders the burden of its respon- 
sibility. The people, as is usually the case, 
were wiser than their representatives. They 
knew what they wanted. They knew that 
they were not protected by the government 
against the British in the posts they still held 
in the northwest; they heard vague rumors 
that the congress was about to surrender the 
free navigation of the ^Mississippi river for 
twenty-five years, which surrender, if accom- 
plished, would destroy their every hope of 
commercial prosperity. They heard many 
other stories, most of which or all of them, 
were untrue, but all of which tended to pro- 
duce a state of unrest. They thought if the 
general government would not or could not 
protect them in their personal or commercial 
interests, they might better "set up shop" for 
themselves and work out their own salvation. 
This was precisely the spirit which pleased 
the agents of Spain who sought to control the 
navigation of the Mississippi river and its trib- 
utaries with the rich trade they were soon to 

offer. . 

The three counties into which the district ot 

Kentucky had been divided, Jefferson, Lin- 
coln and Fayette, were increased in 1785 to 
four by the naming of the county of Nelson, 
which was constituted out of all that part of 
Jefferson county which lay south of Salt river 
^the stream which, in song and story, has 
been termed the final destination of the unsuc- 
cessful politician. 

The members of the next convention were 
apportioned among these four counties and 
were named as follows : 

Jefferson county — Richard Terrell, George 
Wilson, Benjamin Sebastian and Philip Bar- 

Nelson county — Isaac Cox, Isaac Morrison, 
Andrew Hynes, Matthew Walton, James Mor- 
rison and James Rogers. 

Lincoln county — Samuel McDowell, George 
Muter, Christopher Irwin, William Kennedy, 
Benjamin Logan, Caleb Wallace, Harry Innes. 
John Edwards and James Speed. 

Fayette county — James Wilkinson. James 
Garrard, Levi Todd, John Coleman, James 
Trotter, John Craig and Robert Patterson. 

There were names among these that were 
to become historic. Harry Innes and George 
Muter were later to become chief justices of 
the court of appeals of Kentucky. James Wil- 
kinson was that General Wilkinson who was 
at a later period alleged to be connected with 
what is termed "The Spanish Conspiracy," 
which in the end proved to be a fantastic fail- 
ure. Caleb Wallace and Benjamin Sebastian 
were subsequently judges of the court of ap- 
peals. James Garrard was twice chosen gov- 
ernor of the new state of Kentucky. 

On assembling the convention named Sam- 
uel McDowell as president. All papers re- 
ferred by the former convention were coni- 
mitted to consideration by the convention in 
committee of the whole, which subsequently 
submitted a report as follows : 

"Your committee having maturely considered the 
important matters to them referred, are of the opm- 



ion that the situation of this district, upwards of five 
hundred miles from the seat of the present govern- 
ment, with the intervention of a mountain desert 
of two hundred miles, passable only at particular 
seasons and never without danger from hostile 
savages, precludes every idea of a connection on 
republican principles, and originates many griev- 
ances, among them we reckon the following: 

"(l) It destroys every possibility of application 
to the supreme executive power for support or pro- 
tection in cases of emergency, and thereby subjects 
the district to continual hostilities and depredations 
of the savages ; relaxes the execution of the laws ; 
delays justice and tends to loosen and dissever the 
bonds of government. 

"(2) It suspends the operation of the benign 
influence of mercy by subjecting condemned persons 
who may be deemed worthy of pardon to tedious, 
languishing and destructive imprisonment. 

"(3) It renders difficult and precarious the ex- 
ercise of the first and dearest right of freemen,— 
adequate representation, as no person properly quali- 
fied can be expected, at the hazard of his life, to 
undergo the fatigues of long journeys and to incur 
burdensome expenses by devoting himself to the 
public service. 

"(4) It subjects us to penalties and inflictions 
which arise from ignorance of the laws, many of 
which have their operation and expire before they 
reach the district. 

"(5) It renders a compliance with many of the 
duties required of sheriffs and clerks impracticable 
and exposes those officers under the present revenue 
law to inevitable destruction. 

"(6) It subjects the inhabitants to expensive 
and ruinous suits in the high court of appeals and 
places the poor completely in the power of the opu- 

"Other grievances result from partial and retro- 
spective laws which are contrary to the fundamental 
principles of free government and subversive of the 
inherent rights of freemen — such as 

"(First). — The laws for the establishment and 
support of the district court which, at the same time 
that we are subject to a general tax for the support 
of the civil list and the erection of public buildings, 
oblige us to build our own court houses and jails 
and other public buildings, by a special poll-tax 
imposed upon the inhabitants of the district, and 
leaves several officers of the courts without any spe- 
cial provision. 

"(Second). — The law imposing a tax of five shil- 
lings per hundred acres of land previously sold and 
directing tlie payment thereof into the register's 

office at Richmond before the patents shall issue ; 
the same principles which sanctify this law would 
authorize the legislature to impose five pounds per 
acre on lands previously sold by the government 
on stipulated conditions and for which an equivalent 
had been paid, and is equally subversive of justice 
as any of the statutes of the British parliament that 
impelled the fjood people to arms. 

"(Third). — Genera! laws partial and injurious 
in their operation. Such are these laws ; Concerning 
entries and surveys on the western waters ; con- 
cerning the appointment of sheriffs ; for punishing 
certain offenses injurious to the tranquillity of this 

"Which last law prohibits us, while we experi- 
ence all the calamities which flow from the predatory 
incursions of hostile savages, from attempting any 
offensive operations ; a savage, who imrestrained 
by any law, human or divine, despoils our property, 
murders our fellow-citizens, then makes his escape 
to the northwest side of the Ohio, is protected by this 
law. Now, 

"Whereas, All men are born equally free and in- 
dependent and have certain natural inherent and 
inalienable rights, among which are the enjoying and 
defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and 
protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining hap- 
piness and safety; therefore, 

"Resolved, That it is the indispensable duty of this 
convention, as they regard the prosperity and happi- 
ness of their constituents, themselves and posterity, 
to make application of the general assembly at the 
ensuing session for an act to separate this district 
from the present government forever, on terms hon- 
orable to both and injurious to neither, in order that 
it may enjoy all the advantages, privileges and im- 
munities of a free, sovereign and independent re- 

The report and resolution met the unani- 
mous approval of the convention. 

To the reader of today there is a familiar 
sound in the sixth section of the report 
wherein it is stated that the existing condi- 
tions "place the unfortunate poor completely in 
the power of the opulent." It is a plaint as 
old as the time when men first began to hold 
property and more is the pity ; it is a plaint 
that will be heard until time shall be no more. 
Lazarus and Dives have always existed and 
seem to be immortal. 



The second of the grievances set fo 'th in 
the latter portion of the report relative to 
taxes appeals to tlie citizen of today as it did 
to the sturdy old patriots who framed it. Se- 
rious as were the burdens against which they 
protested, they were trifles light as air when 
compared to the system of taxation which 
Kentucky bears as her "white man's burden" 
today, under the provisions of a constitution 
mistakenly approved by the people who "knew 
not what they did." Despite the efTorts or 

the Union of States, the address of the con- 
vention to the legislature of Virginia, is given 
entire as follows : 

"Gentlemen : The subscribers, resident in the 
counties of Jefferson, Faj-ette, Lincohi and Nelson, 
composing the district of Kentucky, being chosen at 
free elections held in these counties, respectively, by 
the freemen of the same for the purpose of forming 
a convention to take into consideration the general 
state of the district and expressly to decide on the 
expediency of making application to your honorable 
body for an act of separation, deeply impressed with 

Custom House .\nd Post Office, Louisville 

better informed citizens, the legislature has 
steadily refused to give to the people an op- 
portunity to right the wrong they unwittingly 
did the state and themselves when, at the 
polls, they endorsed an instrument about 
which they knew little save that it was new. 
It may be that some coming legislature may 
heed the just demand for a revision of the 
taxing system, but he who expects such ac- 
tion has indeed an optimistic spirit. 

As it was one of the important preliminary 
steps towards the formation of a state govern- 
ment and the final admission of Kentucky into 

the importance of the measure and breathing the 
purest filial affection, beg leave to address you on 
the momentous occasion. 

"The settlers of this distant region, taught by the 
arrangements of Providence and encouraged by the 
conditions of that solemn compact for which they 
paid the price of blood, to look forward to a separa- 
tion from the eastern parts of the commonwealth, 
have viewed the subject leisurely at a distance and 
examined it with caution on its near approach, irrec- 
oncilable as has been their situation to a connection 
with any community beyond the Appalachian moun- 
tains, other than the Federal Union ; manifold as 
have been the grievances flowing therefrom, which 
have grown with their growth and increased with 
their population, they have patiently awaited the 



hour of redress, nor even ventured to raise their 
voices in their own cause until youth, quickening 
into manhood, hath given them vigor and stability. 

"To recite minutely the causes and reasoning 
which have directed and will justify this address 
would, we conceive, be a matter of impropriety at 
this juncture. It would be preposterous for us to 
enter upon the support of facts and consequences 
which we presume are incontestable; our sequestra- 
tion from the seat of government, with the interven- 
tion of a mountainous desert of two hundred miles, 
always dangerous and passable only at particular 
seasons, precludes every idea of a connection on 
republican principles. The patriots who formed our 
constitution, sensible of the impracticability of con- 
necting permanently in a free government, the ex- 
tensive limits of the commonwealth, most wisely 
made provision for the act which we now solicit. 

"To that sacred record we appeal. It is not the 
ill-directed or inconsiderate zeal of a few; it is not 
that impatience of power to which ambitious minds 
are prone, nor yet the baser consideration of per- 
sonal interest which influences the people of Ken- 
tucky, directed by superior motives, they are in- 
capable of cherishing a wish unfounded in justice 
and are now impelled by expanding evils and ir- 
remedial grievances, universally seen, universally 
felt and acknowledged, to obey the irresistible dic- 
tates of self-preservation and seek for happiness by 
means honorable to themselves, honorable to you 
and injurious to neither. 

"We, therefore, with the consent and by the 
authority of our constituents, after the most solemn 
deliberation, being warned of every consequence 
which can ensue for them, for ourselves and for 
posterity unborn, do pray that an act may pass at 
the ensuing session of the assembly declaring and 
acknowledging the sovereignty and independence of 
this district. 

"Having no object in view but the acquisition of 
that security and happiness which may be obtained 
by scrupulous adherence to private justice and public 
honor, we should most willingly at this time enter 
into the adjustment of the concessions which are 
to be the condition of our separation, did not our 
relative situation forbid such negotiation ; the sepa- 
ration we request being suggested by necessity and 
being consonant to every principle of reason and 
justice, we are persuaded will be cheerfully granted 
and that we shall be as cheerfully received into the 
Continental Union on the recommendation of our 
parent state. 

"Our application may exhibit a new spectacle in 
the history and politics of mankind — a sovereign 

power solely intent to bless its people, agreeing to 
a dismemberment of its parts in order to secure the 
happiness of the whole. And we fondly flatter our- 
selves from motives not purely local, it is to give 
birth to that catalogue of great events which, we 
persuade ourselves, are to diffuse throughout the 
world the inestimable blessings which mankind may 
derive from the American Revolution. 

"We firmly believe that the undiminished luster 
of that spark which kindled the flame of liberty and 
guided the United States of America to peace and 
independence will direct the honorable body to 
whom we appeal for redress of manifest griev- 
ances, to embrace the singular occasion reserved for 
them by Divine Providence, to originate a precedent 
which shall liberalize the policy of nations and lead 
to the emancipation of enslaved millions. 

"In this address we have discarded the compli- 
mentary style of adulation and insincerity. It be- 
comes freemen, when speaking to freemen, to em- 
ploy the plain, manly and unadorned language of 
independence, supported by conscious rectitude." 

The curious student of history may find 
food for reflection in the last section but one 
of the above address, wherein the Virginia 
legislature is called upon "to embrace the sin- 
gular occasion reserved for them by Divine 
Providence, to originate a precedent which 
will liberalize the policy of nations and lead 
to the emancipation of enslaved millions." It 
seems to be generally admitted by former his- 
torians that this address was written by Gen. 
James Wilkinson. No authority is found for 
a contrary opinion. What did he mean by 
the prediction that the desired action of the 
Virginia legislature would lead to "the eman- 
cipation of enslaved millions?" Was it mere 
literary flamboyancy used for effect, or did a 
prescience of future events guide the pen 
which wrote the resounding words? How- 
ever this may be, the emancipation of the "en- 
slaved millions" of colored slaves came in due 
time, though, if Wilkinson gave the sentence 
any more than a cursory thought when he 
penned it, it is not at all probable that he had 
in mind the comparatively few negro slaves at 
that time in the country. 



To present the resolutions and address of 
the convention to the Virginia legislature, 
George Muter and Harry Innes were selected. 
In addition to offering these formal papers, 
they were instructed to use personal solicita- 
tion in favor of their adoption and to offer 
such verbal explanations of the situation in 
Kentucky as might tend to the creation of a 

sentiment in favor of the erection of the dis- 
trict into a state. These two gentlemen were 
well equipped for this honorable and impor- 
tant service, being men of fine intellect and 
culture and who, at a later date, rendered 
high service to the new state which their ef- 
forts had aided in creating. 


An Address to the People — Pen Picture of General Wilkinson — Thirty Thousand in 
Kentucky — \'iri;inia Assents to Separation — Assembly Resolutions — Asks to 
Come Into the Union — Now Seven Counties — Congress Unresponsive — Indian At- 
tacks Renewed — To the Mother of Kentucky — Death of Colonel Christian — 
Fourth Danville Assembly^ — Virginia Adopts New Measure — Could Wait; Also 

Having completed consideration of the re- 
port and the address, the convention turned 
to an address to the people of Kentucky 
which, for the same reasons as above stated, 
is given in full as follows : 

"To the Inhabitants of the District of Kentucky: 
— Friends and fellow countrymen: Your representa- 
tives in convention, having completed the important 
business for which they were specially elected, feel 
it their duty before they adjourn to call your atten- 
tion to the calamities with which our country ap- 
pears to be threatened. Blood has been spilled 
from the eastern to the western extremity of the 
district ; accounts have been given to the convention 
from Post St. Vincennes, which indicate a disposi- 
tion in the savages for general war; in the meantime, 
if we look nearer home, we shall find our borders 
infested and constant depredations committed on 
our property. Whatever may be the remote designs 
of the savages, these are causes sufficient to arouse 
our attention that we may be prepared not only to 
defend but to punish those who unprovoked, offend 
us. God and nature have given us the power and 
we shall stand condemned in the eyes of Heaven 
and mankind if we do not employ it to redress our 
wrongs and assert our rights. 

"The Indians are now reconnoitering our settle- 
ments in order that they may hereafter direct their 
attacks with more fatal effect and we seem patiently 
to await the stroke of the tomahawk. Strange, in- 
deed, it is that although we can hardly pass a spot 
which does not remind us of the murder of a father, 

a brother or a friend, we should take no single step 
for our own preservation. Have we forgotten the 
surprise of Bryan's or the shocking destruction of 
Kincheloe's station? Let us ask you — -ask your- 
selves — what is there to prevent a repetition of such 
barbarous scenes? Five hundred Indians might be 
conducted, undiscovered, to our very threshold and 
the knife may be put to the throats of our sleeping 
wives and children. For shame ! Let us arouse 
from our lethargy; let us arm, associate and em- 
body; let us call upon our officers to do their duty 
and determine to hold in detestation and abhorrence 
and treat as enemies to the community every person 
who shall withhold his countenance and support of 
such measures as shall be recommended for our 
common defense. Let it be remembered that a stand 
must be made somewhere ; not to support our pres- 
ent frontier would be the height of cruelty, as well 
as folly ; for should it give way those who now hug 
themselves in security will take the front of danger 
and we shall in a short time be huddled together in 
stations, a situation in our present circumstances 
scarcely preferable to death. Let us remember that 
supineness and inaction may entice the enemy to 
general hostilities, while preparation and offensive 
movements will disconcert their plans, drive them 
from our borders, secure ourselves and protect our 
property. Therefore. 

"Resolved. That the convention in the name and 
behalf of the people, do call on the lieutenants or 
commanding officers of the respective counties of 
this dectrict, forthwith to carry into operation the 
law for regulating and disciplining the militia, and 



that the emergency does not admit of delay upon 
the part ot anyone. 

"Resolved, That it be recommended to the officers 
to assemble in their respective counties and concert 
such plans as they may deem expedient for the de- 
fense of our country, or for carrying expeditions 
against the hostile nations of Indians." 

This address bears the marks of that ad- 
dressed to the Virginia legislature and is as- 
sumed to have been from the same pen, that 
of Gen. James Wilkinson who later was to 
become notorious for his connection with the 
intrigues of Spain on the American continent. 

Thomas M. Green, in his "Spanish Conspir- 
acy," paints the following word portrait of 
General Wilkinson : "From his advent in 
Kentucky in 1784, as the active representative 
of a Philadelphia mercantile association, no 
man in the clistrict exerted a more extended 
nor a more corrupting influence in its public 
affairs than Gen. James Wilkinson. Slightly 
under the average height, his form was yet 
a model of symmetry and grace and his manly 
and dignified carriage at once attracted the 
attention of every observer. If his brilliantly 
handsome face won instant admiration, his 
gracious manners no less pleased and invited 
confidence. While fitted by native talent to 
move in the most refined circles of American 
society he yet possessed and exerted all the 
arts which secure the favor of the multitude 
and e.xcite the enthusiastic admiration of the 
vulgar. His command of language enabled 
him with ease to give to his ideas a forceful 
expression, while his full and musical voice 
was pleasant to the auditor. With an ardent 
and mercurial temperament, the fire of which 
was easily communicated to others, his gestic- 
ulation was at once animated and studied. 
With these genuine qualities of an orator, he 
had all the tricks of a popular declaimer. As 
a writer, he had precisely that order of talent 
which was most effective at the time and with 
those to whom his literary effusions were ad- 
dressed. Dealing largely in e.xaggeration, yet 

most skillful in suppressions and in muddying 
the waters, his defense of himself before the 
courts-martial which tried him in 1809 ^nd 
afterwards, was more adroit and not less in- 
genious than that made for his friends and 
coadjutors in intrigue. With real capacity 
for military command and love for the 'pomp 
and circumstance of war,' he was fertile in 
resources, invincible in energy and courage- 
ous in war. Constantly asserting the integrity 
of his own motives and boasting of his own 
love of truth, as well as of glory, he was not 
slow to resent by an appeal to the duello, if 
need were, any impeachment of his honor. 
And yet he was probably as utterly destitute 
of all real honor, as venal, as dishonest and 
as faithless as any man who ever lived. His 
selfishness was supreme and his self-indul- 
gence boundless, while his knowledge of all 
that is mean and corrupt in mankind seemed 
intuitive. With an ambition that was at once 
vaulting and ever restless and a vanity that 
was iinmeasurable, to gratify the one and to 
offer incense to the other, he did not scruple 
to pander to the vices of his fellow-men to 
excite their cupidity and to tempt them to 
treason. An inappeasible craving for the 
adulation of the sycophantic impelled him to 
the most prodigal expenditures, to support an 
immodest hospitality and a vain-glorious state 
to which his ruined fortune was inadequate ; 
he plunged heavily into debt and was then 
careless of his obligations, and to the pecun- 
iary losses his extravagances occasioned to 
others he was indifferent." 

Colonel Green was a man who used the Eng- 
lish language with much discrimination. In 
making an inventory of farming implements 
a spade to him would be a spade and nothing 
more. His pen portrait of General Wilkin- 
son is proof of that and as a mere literary ex- 
ercise is well worth the space given it here. 
Later developments in the history of the state 
bring General Wilkinson again to the front, 
in the consideration of which it will be well 



to keep in view the verbal photograph from 
Colonel Green's pen, though the latter was not 
without prejudices, which sometimes ran away 
with his judgment. 

The memorial of the Danville convention 
was favorably received by the people of Ken- 
tucky who were constantly increasing in num- 
bers and in the confidence of their capacity to 
protect themselves and their families from the 
depredations of the Indians. So great was 
this increase that on August 26, 1786, Madi- 
son county was organized as the fifth county 
of the district. This occurred at the home of 
Capt. George Adams, about two miles from 
the present site of Richmond. Justices of the 
peace were named at the same time and were 
commissioned as such by Patrick Henry, who 
was serving a second term as governor of Vir- 
ginia. The defense of the new county was 
placed in the hands of James Barnett, as col- 
onel of the militia. There were at that time 
about thirty thousand white people in the dis- 

In January, 1786, the Virginia assembly 
gave its assent to the proposed separation and 
thus a second important step was taken in the 
direction of statehood. But the people did not 
blindly rush forward into the proposed new 
condition. To the contrary, they prudently 
considered the steps yet to be taken, evidenc- 
ing a more conservative view than had marked 
the action of the convention. The act of the 
Virginia legislature severing them from the 
parent state was calmly considered. 

Smith, in his "History of Kentucky" from 
whom we now quote, says: "The preamble 
of the act referred to the express desire of 
the good people of the district of Kentucky 
that the same should be erected into a sep- 
arate state and be formed into an independ- 
ent member of the American Union ; and the 
general assembly, judging that such a partition 
of the commonwealth was rendered expedi- 
ent by the remoteness of the more fertile, 
which must be the most populous, part of 

said district, and by the interjacent natural 
impediments to a convenient and regular com- 
munication therewith, resolved as follows: 

"Be it enacted, etc.. That on the respective court 
days in August next ensuing, the free male inhabit 
ants of the district of Kentucky shall elect repre- 
sentatives to continue in appointment for one year, 
with the powers and for the purpose to be mentioned 
m this act: For Jefferson, five; for Nelson, five; 
for Fayette, five; for Bourbon, five; for Lincoln, 
five ; for Madison five ; and for Mercer, five, to meet 
in Danville on the fourth Monday of September 
following to determine whether it be e.xpedient that 
the district should be erected into an independent 
state on the terms and conditions following: 

"(First). — That the boundary between the pro- 
posed state and the state of Virginia shall remain 
the same as at present separates the district from 
the residue of the commonwealth. 

"(Second).— That the proposed state shall take 
upon itself a just proportion of the public debt of 
this state. 

"(Third). — ^That all private rights and interests 
in lands within the said district derived from the 
laws of Virginia prior to such separation shall re- 
main valid and secure, under the laws of the pro- 
posed state, and shall be determined under the laws 
now existing in this state. 

"(Fourth). — That the use and navigation of the 
Ohio river so far as the territory of the proposed 
state or the territory which shall remain within the 
limits of this commonwealth lies thereon shall be 
free and common to the citizens of the United 

".\nd if the convention shall approve of the 
erection of the district into an independent state, 
they are to fix a day posterior to the ist of Septem- 
ber, 1787, on which the authority of Virginia and 
her laws under the exceptions aforesaid are to 
cease and determine forever. Provided, however, 
that prior to the first day of June, 1787, the United 
States in congress shall assent to the erection of 
said district into an independent state." 

This act was ordered to be transmitted to 
the Virginia delegates in congress with in- 
structions to endeavor to secure from that 
body early and favorable action upon a meas- 
ure admitting the new state. 

It will be observed that in the act of separa- 
tion, the Virginia legislature stipulated that 
the representatives of the district of Ken- 



tucky should be elected by "the free male in- 
habitants"' and Smith italicizes these four 
words, not having the fear of the sufifragettes 
before his eyes. It seems that the women of 
Kentucky were deemed equal to bringing 
water to the besieged inmates of Bryan's sta- 
tion from a spring surrounded by painted 
savages, but in the matter of a separation of 
the district from Virgiina, they had no part, 
not being "free male inhabitants." 

It will be observed in the order for an elec- 
tion that the number of counties in the dis- 
trict had been increased by the erection of 
Bourbon and Mercer counties the number thus 
reaching seven. These seven counties were 
thus brought into a prominence which they 
have ever since maintained in the excellence 
of their soil and the intelligence and integrity 
of their inhabitants. 

It will be recalled that the constitution of the 
United States was adopted by the Convention 
September 17, 1787, and the application of 
Kentucky for the permission of \irginia to 
make formal application for admission into 
the Union, was therefore made before the or- 
ganic bond of union had been adopted and ac- 
cepted by the original states. The constitu- 
tion was to become effective when ratified by 
nine of the states. On the 26th of June, 1788, 
Virginia by a vote of eighty-eight to seventy- 
eight ratified the instrument. New York fol- 
lowed the example of Virginia at a later date ; 
North Carolina hesitated for two years and 
Rhode Island for three but finally all the states 
had acquiesced and the "Articles of Confeder- 
ation and Perpetual Union" adopted Novem- 
ber 15, 1777, by the Continental congress, 
were succeeded by a new Charter of Liberty, 
the Constitution of the United States, under 
the wise provisions of which the fringe of 
states along the Atlantic border have been ex- 
panded until it reaches from the Atlantic to 
the Pacific, and forty-eight stars now adorn 
the flag which originally bore but thirteen. 
May that majestic galaxy never again be dis- 

turbed by internecine strife, nor a star re- 
moved by attack from enemies without. 

Kentucky's appeal did not at once secure 
responsive action from the congress. George 
Washington had become president; old things 
were passing away ; new ones were taking 
their place when the congress met March 4, 
1789. The eastern states were free from war 
and its alarms and so enjoyed the era of 
peace, after long years of strife, that ears 
which should have been keen of hearing were 
dulled to the dire tidings coming from the 
westward of the mountain ranges where the 
hardy pioneers were still the victims of sav- 
age atrocities. The people to the eastward 
were not callous ; they were simply quiescent, 
and Kentucky seemed so far away that they 
were unable to appreciate the dangers and 
sufferings of the gallant spirits, the men and 
women, who, hourly taking their lives in their 
hands, were carving out of a savage wilder- 
ness a new commonwealth which was to add 
glory and honor to the Union in the near-by 
years. Colonel Smith, in his history, sums 
up the situation in this condensed and potent 
form : "The neglect and indifference shown 
but repeat the almost unbroken examples of 
folks bearing with patience and composure the 
ills and misfortunes of neighbors, provided 
those neighbors will bear all the griefs and 
privations of the same." Another philosopher 
has said, in effect, that we enjoy a certain de- 
gree of pleasure in hearing of the misfortunes 
of our friends. It is to be hoped that this lat- 
ter philosopher is in error, but as this is an at- 
tempt at history and not a philosophical trea- 
tise, no attempt will be made to controvert the 

Though the treaty of peace with Great Brit- 
ain had been negotiated and signed in 1783, 
the English government had steadily refused 
to evacuate the posts held on the northwestern 
frontier, thus giving aid and comfort to their 
forniet' savage allies, who, using these posts 
as bases of supplies, made frequent forays 



upon the settlements west of the Appalachian 
range. Spain had looked with longing eyes 
upon Kentucky, hoping to add it to her do- 
main upon the western continent. Her Mach- 
iavelian efforts to attain the desired end hav- 
ing failed of effect, the Indians to the south, 
no longer dreading Spanish restraint, renewed 
their attacks upon the whites. Thus Kentucky, 
as in later years, lay between two fires, each 
destructive, and against each of which she 
must battle alone, unaided by the newly- 
erected Federal government. Her people did 
battle and they won alone. It is now and has 
ever been a characteristic of the Kentuckian 
that he never knows when he is whipped. To 
a youthful Confederate soldier who came back 
to his Kentucky home after the surrender, his 
father said: "Well, my son, I told you before 
you went into the army that Mr. Lincoln 
would whip you." 

"I beg your pardon, father, but Mr. Lincoln 
never whipped us ; he simply beat us. No- 
body can whip us." 

In the seven years from the signing of the 
treaty of peace, from 1783 to 1790, fifteen 
hundred men, women and children were mur- 
dered by savages in Kentucky ; to say nothing, 
in the face of such dire fatality, of the value 
of property destroyed. But no man or wo- 
man faltered. God bless the memory of the 
latter, for no nobler beings ever existed. 
"There were giants in those days." It is 
Kentucky's proudest boast that there were 
heroines in those days, and no belted earl of 
the monarchies of the Old World, can give to 
his descendants a prouder heritage than these 
brave women gave their sons who can say : 
"My mother was of the Kentucky pioneers." 
Witness the women of Bryan station ; the 
splendid girls from Boonesborough who in 
captivity, marked their trail so that those who 
followed might the more easily discover them ! 
Orders of nobility are of no avail in Ken- 
tucky. Every man in whose veins courses the 
blood of these pioneers, outranks the proudest 

duke who wears the Star and Garter. Upon 
his breast, if he would, he might wear the 
badge of a duty well performed, of a danger 
never evaded ; of a motherhood never sur- 
passed since the days of the Spartans. Some 
day, somewhere, in Kentucky, there will be 
erected a monument, imperishable as the mem- 
ory of their deeds, to "The Mothers of Ken- 

Congress hesitated but the savages did not. 
Their raids grew in number and in violence 
as they found opposition at certain points 
weakened. Colonel William Christian, an ac- 
complished gentleman and soldier, led his 
troops against them and fell in action, dying 
a soldier's death ; had he lived, the highest 
honors might have been his. He had served 
honorably in the disastrous Braddock cam- 
paign, had married the sister of Patrick 
Henry. He was a born soldier. After his 
honorable service in V'irginia and elsewhere 
he came to Kentucky in 1785 and settled in 
Jefferson county and was constantly active in 
all military operations for the defense of the 
people. It has been suggested that had 
Colonel Christian not met the fate of a sol- 
dier, he would, in all probability, have been 
the first governor of the new commonwealth. 

It is impossible to enumerate here the multi- 
plicity of Indian depredations at this period, 
as it is equally impossible to give the full 
meed of praise to those brave spirits who met 
the savage forays and saved Kentucky to the 
white man. As has been stated elsewhere in 
this work, it was the savage hunting ground 
and they gave it up only after a struggle which 
proved that the white man was born to be the 
Indian's master and would never yield until 
that mastery had been accepted. Despite the 
atrocities of savage warfare, it is with a sort 
of sympathy that one contemplates the efforts 
of the untutored savage to preserve to himself 
and his children the heritage that had come 
down to him from his forefathers. They were 
here first, so far as the records show, but the 



Anglo-Saxon will not be denied ; his land hun- 
ger must be appeased. Today, he owns from 
the Atlantic to the Pacific and not yet satis- 
fied, his flag flies in Hawaii, the Philippines 
and Porto Rico. Whether it will further ex- 
tend its influence it is not the province of this 
work to say. It is enough to know that if it 
wants to go further, it will go. 

During these Indian raids, Gen. George 
Rogers Clark, by authority of the Virginia 
legislature, led a force against the Indians on 
the Wabash but was unsuccessful. General 
Clark was sore in spirit because Virginia, as 
he thought, had not properly recognized his 
former successful military exploits. He had 
also, unfortunately, cultivated personal habits 
which interfered with his success as a com- 

Colonel Logan was more successful and 
taught the Shawnees a lesson never forgotten, 
which kept them ever afterwards away from 
Kentucky. In this expedition of Colonel 
Logan's success was dimmed by the loss of 
Captain Christopher Irvine, of Madison 
county, whose gallant impetuosity led him to 
his death at the hands of a savage enemy. 
While approaching a Shawnee village an old 
chief, named Moluntha, came out to meet the 
whites, bedecked in tawdry finery so dear to 
the savage heart. After passing successfully 
many of the whites who were amused at his 
display of finery, Moluntha, who had been at 
the slaughter at Blue Licks, approached Major 
McGary, who had, by his rashness, been re- 
sponsible for the awful results of that battle. 
McGary asked if he had been at Blue Licks 
and when the old chief responded "Blue 
Licks,'' he drew his tomahawk and ruthlessly 
murdered him. It would have been well for 
Kentucky had McGary never entered its bor- 
tlers. He brought not only disaster at Blue 
Licks but dishonor in the Shawnee country. 

Kentucky was marking out its destiny with 
the consent of Virginia : she was protecting 
her scattered settlements, but the congress, 

secure from savage alarms in Philadelphia, 
was sitting supinely by and doing nothing. ' 
In the meantime, delegates were elected to 
the fourth convention called to meet at Dan- 
ville in September, 1786. On assembling, it 
was found that so many of the delegates were 
absent on military duty that a quorum could 
not be obtained. Adjournment was had from 
day to day until January, 1787, when a suffi- 
cient number of delegates was present to pro- 
ceed to business and a resolution was adopted 
to the effect that it was expedient for and the 
will of the good people of the district that the 
same should become a state separate from and 
independent of Virginia, upon the terms of the 
act hitherto referred to. 

The legislature of Virginia in the meantime, 
had taken action on the original memorial and 
adopted a new measure annulling the first 
which fact was certified to the president of the 
Danville convention by a member of the legis- 
lature. This created discomfiture in the con- 
vention which adjourned, its members return- 
ing to their homes to await results. 

A letter was received from a member of the 
\'irginia legislature stating the reasons which 
induced the actions of that body which were 
in substance as follows : 

First — That the original law, requiring a 
decision on the subject of separation in time, 
if adopted, for congress to detennine on the 
admission of Kentucky into the Union before 
the first day of June, 1787, could not, in con- 
sequence of delay, be executed. 

Second — That the twelve months allowed to 
the convention for other purposes, might, in 
the divided state of public opinion, involve 
difiiculties, especially as there did not appear 
to be in the minority a disposition to submit to 
the will of the majorit)'. 

Third — That the proceedings of the con- 
vention would be subject to objections in con- 
sequence of defects in the law. 

The preamble assigns as reasons for the 
act, the failure of the convention to meet and 

nr^. -- '-) 



the inpracticability of executing the law for 
want of time. It further expressed a contin- 
ued disposition in the legislature to assent to 
the proposed separation. It enacts that at the 
August courts of the year 1787, the free male 
inhabitants of the district, in their respective 
counties, should elect live members for each 
county to compose a convention to be held at 
Danville on the third Monday in the ensuing 

The 4th of July, 1787, was fixed as the limit 
within which congress was to express its as- 
sent to the admission of the proposed state 
into the Confederation. This action meant 
the postponment of the matter for an entire 
year. By the first act separation might possi- 
bly have occurred in 1787: by the second, it 
was postponed until 1789. The people were 
disappointed but not hopeless. Under the 
most favorable circumstances they could not 
enter the Union for two years and, recogniz- 
ing the conditions surrounding the newly- 

formed Union, they realized that there might 
yet be other years of waiting. They could 
wait and they could also fight. Congress had 
made treaties with the Indians ; the latter had 
ruthlessly disregarded them. The United 
States authorities paid no attention to these 
violations and the people of Kentucky found 
themselves neglected but b}- no means helpless 
or hopeless, ^^'hen there was fighting against 
the Indians necessary, there was no lack of 
fighting men from Kentucky. Congress might 
delay the matter of admission ; meanwhile 
Kentucky, as occasion offered, was giving 
practical demonstrations of its fitness to be a 
member of the sisterhood of states. The pa- 
tience with which Kentucky awaited the act of 
justice was only equalled by the equanimity 
with which it met every difficulty and the 
bravery with which, for years, it combatted 
the savage enemies whose bitter attacks were 
constantly met with unremitting regularity. 


Wilkinson, the Discord Sower — Free Navigation of the Mississippi — Spanish Designs 
Narrowly Averted — Wilkinson's Stumbling Block. 

In this hour of doubt and uncertainty, the 
tempter came to Kentucky. The attempt at 
self-government was an experiment. Men 
doubted if a Republican form of government 
could continue to exist ; the constitution was a 
venture into new fields and was yet to be 
tested and it is not to be wondered at that 
there were doubters, some who predicted fail- 
ure. It will not be forgotten that there were 
men who wished that Washington should be a 
king rather than a president. The men who 
dreamed of a successful republic never de- 
spaired. Almost, they believed the Federal 
constitution to be an inspired instrument ; 
never for a moment did they fail in the belief 
that Divine Providence was watching over the 
new land and that, in the end, all would be 
well with it and them. But, at the same time, 
they kept their powder dry and were in a con- 
stant state of defense against their savage foes. 

But they were not without resentment at 
the delay attendant upon their admission to 
the Union. With their blood and treasure 
they had taken the new territory from the sav- 
ages, had defended it against countless at- 
tacks, and could see no good reason why their 
hopes for statehood should be disappointed. 
Gen. James Wilkinson, who had sat as a dele- 
gate in the Danville convention, boldly and 
defiantly declared himself in favor of the im- 

mediate separation of Kentucky from the par- 
ent state and the setting up of an independent 
government for the time being. It is not im- 
probable that when this proposal was made, 
Wilkinson was already in correspondence with 
the Spanish authorities in the south or was 
courting such correspondence and such finan- 
cial offers as might result therefrom. Wilkin- 
son had served in the war with England ; 
was largely engaged in commercial pursuits 
and by his plausible manner, had ingratiated 
himself into the good opinion of far better men 
than himself, thus giving him perhaps as great 
an inlluence as was possessed by any man in 

At the time when Wilkinson was sowing the 
seeds of discord, there was forwarded to Ken- 
tucky from a body of men at Pittsburg, styl- 
ing themselves "A Committee of Correspond- 
ence from Western Pennsylvania," a com- 
munication stating as follows : "That John 
Jay, the American secretary for foreign af- 
fairs, had made a proposition to Don Gardo- 
qui, the Spanish minister to the United States, 
to cede the navigation of the Mississippi river 
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 coimtry could derive no profit 




Immediately thereafter and in response 
thereto, a circular letter was sent to the peo- 
ple of Kentucky as follows : 

"Danville, Kentucky, March 29. 1787. 
"A respectable number of the inhabitants of the 
district having met at this place, being greatly 
alarmed at the late proceedings of congress in pro- 
posing to cede to the Spanish court the navigation 
of the Mississippi river for twenty-five or thirty 
years, have directed us to address the inhabitants on 
the western waters and inform them of the measures 
which it is proper for this district to adopt. The 
inhabitants of the several counties in this district 
will be requested to elect five members in each 
county to meet in Danville on the first Monday in 
May to take up the consideration of this project of 
congress, to prepare a spirited but decent remon- 
strance against the cession ; to appoint a committee 
of correspondence and communicate with one al- 
ready established on the Monongahela, or any other 
that may be constituted; to appoint delegates to 
meet representatives from the several districts on 
the western waters in convention, should a con- 
vention be deemed necessary, and to adopt such 
other measures as shall be most conducive to our 

"As we conceive that all the inhabitants residing 
on the western waters are equally affected by this 
partial conduct of congress, we doubt not but they 
will readily approve our conduct and cheerfully 
adopt a similar system to prevent a measure which 
tends to almost a total destruction of the western 
country. This is a subject which requires no com- 
ment; the injustice of the measure is glaring, and 
as the inhabitants of this district wish to unite 
their efforts to oppose the cession of the naviga- 
tion of the IMississippi with those of their brethren 
residing on the western waters, we hope to sec 
such an e.xertion made upon this important occasion 
as may convince congress that the inhabitants of 
the western country are united in the opposition and 
consider themselves entitled to all the privileges of 
freemen and all those blessings procured by the 
Revolution, and will not tamely submit to an act 
of oppression which would tend to a deprivation of 
our just rights and privileges. 

George Muter, 
H.^RRY Insess, 
John Brown, 
Benj.amin Seb.'^sti.\n." 

These letters having- been sent to each 

county, the feeling against congress was in- 
creased though it is difficult to understand why 
Kentucky as a state, would have more free- 
dom from Indian forays than as a district, un- ■ 
less congress had intervened and sent troops ' 
to aid in the defense of the people. But the 
free navigation of the Mississippi river was 
threatened and the pioneers of Kentucky, not- 
ing the great increase of population, recog- 
nized that they were about to be cut ofif from 
a future market and that freedom of access 
thereto was to be at the will of a foreign gov- 
ernment. They had too recently been relieved 
from the thraldom of King George of Eng- 
land to willingly accept the yoke of Spain. 
There w-as stern opposition to the proposal of 
Don Gardoqui. the Spanish minister, but the 
proposed delegates to the convention were 
chosen without undue excitement. They met 
in due time at Danville and after considering 
many propositions, adjourned without taking 
action upon the question at issue. Smith, in 
his "History of Kentucky," gives the follow- 
ing fair resume of the situation at that time : 

"As early as the 28th of June. 1785, the ar- 
rival of Don Gardoqui had been announced 
to congress, with plenipotentiary powers to 
treat on behalf of his majesty with any per- 
son or persons vested with equal powers by , 
the United States, on the subjects in contro- 

"The Hon. John Jay. then being the secre- 
tary of the United States for foreign affairs, 
received from congress a similar commission, 
and a negotiation was opened between these 
ministers in Xew York. The caution of con- 
gress had inserted in the commission of Mr. 
Jay these words: 'That he enter into no 
treaty, compact or convention whatever with 
the said representative of Spain which does 
not stipulate the right of the United States to 
the navigation of the Mississippi river and the 
boundaries as established by the treaty with 
Great Britain.' 

"More than half a year had elapsed before 



congress had any communication as to the 
progress of the negotiation. Difficuhies were 
at length announced by the American minister 
on the subjects of treaty. He was called be- 
fore congress and explained by reference to 
the navigation of the river which w-as claimed 
exclusively and justly by Spain within her ter- 
ritories, and further by presenting to view the 
project of a commercial treaty containing, as 
he contended, advantageous stipulations in fa- 
vor of the United States, in consideration of 
which it was proposed that they should 'for- 
bear the use of the navigation of the Missis- 
sippi for twenty-five or thirty years." He urged 
the adoption of this project as a beneficial one 
for the United States ; said that a stipulation 
to forbear the use on the part of the United 
States, accepted by Spain, was an admission 
on her part of the right ; that, in fact, the 
United States were in no condition to take 
the river or force the use of it, and, therefore, 
gave nothing for the benefits they would de- 
rive from the proposed treaty, not otherwise 
to be effected, for the use of the nation. 

"Under this view of the subject, the seven 
most eastwardly of the states voted to re- 
scind the ultimata in the secretary's instruc- 
tions, and it was, of course, so entered on the 
journal, the other states dissenting. It, how- 
ever, required the concurrence of nine states 
to give an instruction; therefore, none was 
given. The case had been debated ; the 
strength of the party for the treaty had been 
tried and found wanting. The project had 
failed, most happily for the Union." 

Jay, who had formerly rendered great ser- 
vice to his countrv, was under the ban in the 

protesting states. The excitement was very 
great and there was a possibility that had nine 
instead of seven states joined in supporting 
his plans, the protesting states would have se- 
riously considered the propriety of withdraw- 
ing from the confederation which they could 
probably have done without meeting the re- 
sistance from the remaining states which fol- 
lowed the withdrawal of the southern states 
from the Union many years later. Virginia 
was the most earnest of those states opposing 
Jay's plans, and by a unanimous vote of her 
legislature instructed her delegates in con- 
gress never to accede to any such proposition, 
and was warmly seconded by the other non- 
concurring states. 

General Wilkinson, urged on by an unap- 
peasable ambition, saw, in the situation, his 
opportunity and was sustained by many men 
of purer minds and less ambition. The peo- 
ple felt that they were neglected, and. driven 
to desperation by Indian forays and the dis- 
comforts attendant upon the development of 
a new land, seemed almost ready to dissolve 
all allegiance to the new government and set 
up for themselves. But they were never ready 
to form an alliance with any foreign govern- 
ment. They were, first of all things, Ameri- 
cans and such they would remain, whether 
members of the Union or citizens of an inde- 
pendent state. Wilkinson was able and plaus- 
ible but not able enough nor plausible enough 
to lead astray the brave men and women about 
whose homes in the wilderness, the flowers of 
beauty, the harvests of prosperity were be- 
ginning to grow. 


"The Kentucky Gazette"— Another Plea for Admission — Wilkinson Founds Tobacco 
Trade — First Kentucky Congressman — Many Attempts at Separate Government — 
Admission Again Postponed — Spanish Siren Sings to Brown — Letter from Chief 
Justice Muter — Judge Innes Drops a Hint. 

A new chapter was written in Kentucky 
history at this moment, a chapter which has 
been duplicated very many times. On the 28th 
of August, 1787, John Bradford began at 
Lexington tlie pubhcation of The Kentucky 
Gazette, the first newspaper published in Ken- 
tucky. It was a modest affair, appearing first 
on a half-sheet, but almost immediately after- 
wards increasing in size ; later becoming still 
larger. It was a boon to the better informed 
men of the day, as it gave them an opportu- 
nity to display their powers as controversial- 
ists. At once, its columns were filled with 
discussions for and against separation and 
those of today who have imagined our fore- 
fathers to have been but poorly educated and 
crudely informed would have the impression 
removed by an examination of the files of this 
pioneer newspaper of the west. 

September the 17th the convention reassem- 
bled at Danville nearly all the members be- 
ing present. It was decided, unanimously, 
after brief discussion, that it would "be expe- 
dient for the good people of the district that 
it should be separated from the rest of the 
state (Virginia) upon the terms and condi- 
tions prescribed by law." 

An address to congress was prepared, that 
body being requested in respectful manner, to 
admit the new state into the Union by the 

name of Kentucky. The last day of Decem- 
ber, 1788, was fixed as the date upon which 
the authority of Virginia should cease and 
that of the new state begin. 

It was also agreed that at the respective 
court days in the various counties in the fol- 
lowing April, representatives should be chosen 
who should continue in office until De- 
cember 31, 1788, their election to be by the 
free male inhabitants of each county; the 
usual number of five delegates from each 
county being provided for. After making 
these provisions the convention adjourned 
and thus one more of the tedious steps to- 
wards statehood had been taken. 

It appears that the chief industry of the 
district at this period consisted of the election 
of delegates and the holding of conventions. 
But the end justified the means. Through 
many difficulties and, on the part of congress, 
unjust delays, the district finally came to its 
own, though it was not yet to be. 

General Wilkinson was always to be reck- 
oned with. His ambitious dreams spurred 
him on, as did his avaricious fondness for 
Spanish gold. In June, 1787, he had gone to 
New Orleans with a cargo of tobacco and 
other Kentucky products. While in New Or- 
leans, as he afterwards stated, he made ar- 
rangements with the Spanish General Miro, 




for the introduction of several thousand fam- 
ilies into Florida or, failing that, for a colony 
along the Arkansas and White rivers, in what 
was then recognized as Spanish territory. He 
also claimed to have secured a concession for 
furnishing an annual supply of tobacco for the 
markets of Mexico, all of which promised rich 
financial returns to himself and his associates. 
To justify these appeals to the pocket nerve 
of the people, Wilkinson exhibited the per- 
mits of the Spanish general. This action of 
Wilkinson was entirely legitimate. He was 
establishing a market for the products of the 
district, as any man had a right to do, and all 
would have been well had he gone no further. 
It was claimed by many that he had renounced 
his citizenship and become a subject of the 
Spanish king, in return for the concessions 
granted him. Wilkinson admitted that he had 
the contracts and boasted of the privilege of 
free storage in the Spanish warehouses, but 
was shrewd enough to ignore the charge that 
he had become a Spanish subject. By contin- 
uing the purchase of tobacco he popularized 
himself with the people, adding to the prestige 
thus gained by keeping continually before 
them the great value of the free navigation 
of the Mississippi and of commercial connec- 
tion with Spain. 

About this time, the Kentucky delegates to 
the Virginia legislature were instructed by the 
convention at Danville to ask for a represent- 
ative in congress, the population of the dis- 
trict having increased to an extent justifying 
such request. Under this recommendation the 
Hon. John Brown, of Danville, was chosen 
as the first delegate from the district of Ken- 
tucky in what may be termed the old congress, 
in contradistinction to that which assembled 
after the ratification of the constitution by a 
sufficient number of the states. 

The following statement of conditions and 
events at that time is from the writings of 
Butler, a fair-minded and intelligent observer : 

"On the 29th of July of this year (1789), 

the sixth convention met at Danville to form 
a constitution of government for the district, 
preparatory to its separation from Virginia. 
While this body was assembled, information 
was received that congress had determined to 
refer the question of admitting Kentucky into 
the Union to the new government. This was 
indeed a cruel blow to the excited hopes of in- 
dependent government, so repeatedly voted 
by Kentucky and as often assented to by Vir- 
ginia. It is not a matter of wonder that there 
was now observable the most deep-felt vexa- 
tion, a share of resentment bordering on dis- 
afTection and strong symptoms of assuming in- 
dependent government. The navigation of the 
Mississippi and the trade to New Orleans, now 
just tested for the first time, were strenuously 
pressed into the argument in favor of com- 
pleting the constitution and organizing gov- 
ernment without delay. It was even proposed 
to submit the state of the district and the 
course to be pursued to each militia company. 
This proposition was, by a large majority, most 
judiciously rejected. The body came, after 
protracted debate, to the following recommen- 
dation : 

"That the people of the district should elect 
another assembly to meet in November and to 
continue in office until the first of January, 
1790, 'that they delegate to their said repre- 
sentatives full power to take such measures 
for obtaining admission of the district as a 
separate and independent member of the 
United States of America and the navigation 
of the Mississippi as may appear most con- 
ducive to those purposes, and also, to form a 
constitution of government for the district and 
organize the same when they judge it neces- 
sary, or to do and accomplish whatsoever, on 
consideration of the state of the district may, 
in their judgment, promote its interest.' 

"From the breadth and plenipotentiary 
character of this commission, like that of a 
Roman dictator, the temper of the district may 
be inferred ; nor can there, in the whole his- 



tory of American government, be founil a ca- 
reer of such multiplied disappointments and 
abortive assemblies as in the labors of Ken- 
tucky to be admitted into the Union. All par- 
ties appear to have been well disposed ; still, 
as if under the influence of some enchantment. 
consent was given but to be repealed ; act was 
passed after act, and assembly met after as- 
sembly, only to give birth to a successor as re- 
mote as ever from obtaining what had been 
the favorite object of the people for years. 
Had a domestic government been organized 
after the repeated and harmonious co-opera- 
tion of the great contracting parties, it is not 
to be supposed that it would have been so tech- 
nically misconstrued as to have been viewed as 
treasonable to \'irginia or hostile to the Un- 
ion, owing to repeated and unavoidable acci- 
dents. The magnanimous temper of \'irginia 
would have cured everything. Should any 
such unjust imputation have been placed upon 
the proceedings of Kentucky, it must soon 
have been removed by their fidelity, had it 
been, as it is believed it was, immovably fast 
to the confederacy of their countrymen. \'er- 
mont continued without the pale of the Union 
during the whole of the Revolutionary war 
and until March, 1791 ; yet no indictment was 
brought against her for treason. At this dis- 
tance of time, the protracted delays and re- 
peated public disappointments on this question 
seem truly inexplicable. It is not known to 
what else to compare our long succession of 
fruitless conventions than to the card edifices 
of children which are no sooner erected than 
at a breath they are demohshed. The asser- 
tion may be safely ventured that no sober po- 
litical critic of the present day can believe that 
any community in these states would now be 
so trifled with and tantalized as the people of 
this district were for eight years in obtaining 
a separate municipal existence. 

"Some auxiliary resolutions for directing 
the election of the seventh convention closed 
the labors of this addition to the numerous and 

ineffectual assemblies. So excited had public 
feeling in Kentucky become in consequence of 
this provoking course of things that disunion 
seems to have been at least proposed as its 
"idea was formally combatted in the public 
prints of the time while nothing more open or 
formal than the acts of the convention is 
recollected in its favor. 

"As it has before been stated, the separa- 
tion of Kentucky from \'irginia was an agreed 
case between the high parties, the difficulty 
was one of form and accident only. In such 
a state of things, it would have been cruel 
mockery and iniquity in \'irginia to have so 
far misrepresented a separation of Kentucky, 
which had been the subject of repeated and 
mutual agreements, as to have considered it 
treasonable. The jealousy of the country 
could not, however, have been too keenly ex- 
cited against any attempt at foreign independ- 
ence; it is never admitted into the creed of 
an enlightened patriot until the last extremity 
of domestic misfortune, and even then to be 
most sleeplessly watched." 

But there was to be yet other delay trying 
to the patience of Kentucky. Marshall's his- 
tory thus refers to the proceedings in con- 
gress : "Hon. John Brown, as early as Feb- 
ruary, had introduced the address of the dis- 
trict convention requesting the assent of con- 
gress to Kentucky's admission into the Union. 
On the morning of the 3d of July — the 4th 
of July being the limit prescribed for obtain- 
ing the assent of admission on the part of con- 
gress — some weeks after the \'irginia conven- 
tion had been in session and some days after 
it had in fact, ratified the Federal constitu- 
tion, the motion of Mr. Brown was taken up 
for the last time and ultimately postponed for 
the reasons subjoined : 

"Whereas, application has been lately made to 
congress by the legislature of Virginia and the dis- 
trict of Kentucky for the admission of the said dis- 
trict into the Federal Union as a separate member 
thereof on the terms contained in the acts of the 



said legislature, and in the resolutions of the said 
district relative to the premises; and 

"Whereas, congress having fully considered the 
subject, did, on the 3d day of June last, resolve that 
it is expedient that the said district be erected into 
a sovereign and independent state and a separate 
member of the Federal Union, and appointed a com- 
mittee to report an act accordingly, which committee 
on the 2d instant was discharged, it appearing that 
nine states had adopted the constitution of the 
United States lately submitted to conventions of the 
people ; and 

"Whereas, a new confederacy is formed among 
the ratifying states, and there is reason to believe that 
the state of Virginia, including the said district, did, 
on the 26th of June last, become a member of said 
confederacy ; and 

"Whereas, an act of congress, in the present 
state of the government of the country, severing a 
part of said state from the other part thereof and 
admitting it into the confederacy, formed by the 
articles of confederation and perpetual Union, as 
an independent member thereof, may be attended 
with many inconveniences, while it can have no ef- 
fect to make the said district a separate member 
of the Federal Union formed by the adoption of the 
said constitution; and 

"Therefore, it must be manifestly improper for 
congress, assembled under thq said articles of con- 
federation, to adopt any other measures relative to 
the premises than those which express their sense 
that the said district, as a separate state, be ad- 
mitted into the Union as soon as circumstances 
shall permit proper measures to be adopted for tiiat 

Mr. Brown, representative from the district 
of Kentucky, recognizing the selfish, antago- 
nistic spirit of the representatives from the 
north and east, was convinced that admission 
to the Union was to be long delayed. 

While in this spirit, he was approached by 
the wily Spanish minister, Gardoqui. who 
sought to impress upon him the importance of 
independent existence for Kentucky with free 
navigation of the Mississippi and exclusive 
trade with Spain. The efforts of Genera! \\i\- 
kinson and the results of his commerce 
through the port of New Orleans, had not 
been without effect in Kentucky, and Brown 
was not unwilling to listen to the siren Span- 

i-sh song. Of the events of that period, Mar- 
shall has written bitterly as a political enemy 
of Brown; at a later period, his kinsman. 
Green, took up the burden of his plaint and 
bore it along in his "Spanish Conspiracy." 
Smith, a true conservative and amiable histo- 
rian, devoid of prejudice, modifies Marshall 
in the following continuation of the incidents 
connected with the failure of Kentucky to se- 
cure admission to the Union : 

"To President McDowell, of the Kentucky 
convention of July, Mr. Brown wrote soon 
after the action of congress, giving an account 
of his labors and disappointments to which he 
added his own reasons for his failure. In this 
letter was inclosed a detached strip in these 
words : 

" 'In a conversation I had with Mr. Gard- 
oqui, the Spanish tninister, relative to the nav- 
igation of the Alississippi river, he stated that 
if the people of Kentucky would erect them- 
selves 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 ex- 
portation of their produce to New Orleans on 
terms of mutual advantage." 

"This is not the only letter written by Mr. 
Brown about the same time to Kentucky. He 
recollected that Judge Muter had joined with 
him in March, 1787, in sending forth the cir- 
cular address to the courts on the subject of 
the Mississippi, and favored him with one of 
his epistles containing an introduction of his 
new acquaintance, Don Gardoqui. Although 
Muter could not be called a great man. yet he 
disliked the intrigues of political partisans and 
was alarmed, on the perusal of Mr. Brown's 
letter, to find him engaged with a foreign min- 
ister, which directly implicated the peace of 
Kentucky and the preservation of the Union. 
Under the circumstances, it was impossible 
for him not to combine the views disclosed by 
Mr. Brown with those manifested by General 
Wilkinson in the late convention. This coin- 




cidence of objects naturally suggested a con- 
cert of means to effect them and pointed 
out the danger as being imminent. This led 
him to Colonel Marshall, and was his induce- 
ment for showing the letter with which he 
had been honored by Mr. Brown. The com- 
munity was seriously affected with anti-Fed- 
eralism and the mania of national dissolution, 
when its representatives in convention could 
pass and send out to it the propositions which 
have been detailed, as the basis of authority 
for another convention to throw Kentucky out 
of the Union, if it pleased, and to enter into 
arrangements with Spain, who had refused 
the United States a treaty for the navigation 
of the Mississippi river, without exciting a 
much more general disapprobation than was 
apparent. And when to this reflection is added 
the fact that the greater number of the leaders 
in the former convention were again elected, 
and that Mr. Brown, having returned to the 
district, was, himself, elected a member of the 
same, there seems but little reason to doubt 
that a large proportion of those who gave tone 
to public opinion, were of the party of Wil- 
kinson and Brown from the July to the No- 
vember convention of this year. 

"The letter to Judge Muter from Mr. 
Brown follows : 

"New York, July lo, 1788. 
•• 'Dear Sir : An answer to your favor of the lOth 
of March was, together with several other letters, 
put into the hands of one of General Harmar's of- 
ficers, who set out in May last for the Ohio, and 
who promised to forward them to the district, but 
I find that they have miscarried, as I was informed 
a few days ago, that his orders had been counter- 
manded and that he had been sent to the garrison 
at West Point. Indeed, I have found it almost im- 
practicable to transmit a letter to Kentuckv, as there 
is scarcely any communication between this place 
and that country. A post is now established from 
this post to Fort Pitt to set out once in two weeks 
after the 20th instant ; this will render communica- 
tion easy and certain. Before this reaches vou I 
expect you will have heard the determination of 
congress relative to the separation of Kentuckv, as 
a copy of the proceedings has been forwarded to the 

district by the secretary of congress a few days ago. 
It was not in my power to obtain a decision earlier 
than the 3d instant. Great part of the winter and 
spring there was not a representation of the states 
sufficient to proceed to this business and after it 
was referred to a grand committee they could not 
be prevailed upon to report, a majority of them be- 
ing opposed to the measure. The eastern states 
would not, -nor do I think they ever will, assent to 
the admission of the district into the Union as an 
independent state, unless Vermont, or the province 
of Maine, is brought forward at the same time. 
The change which has taken place in the general 
government is made the ostensible objection to the 
measure, but the jealousy of the growing importance 
of the western country and the unwillingness to add 
a vote to the southern interest are the real causes of 
opposition, and I am inclined to believe that they 
will exist in a certain degree, even under the new 
government to which the application is referred by 
congress. The question which the district will now 
have to determine upon will be : Whether or not 
it will be more expedient to continue the connection 
with Virginia, or to declare their independence and 
proceed to form a constitution of government. It 
is generally expected that the latter will be the de- 
termination, as you have proceeded too far to think 
of relinquishing the measure, and the interest of 
the district will render it altogether inexpedient to 
continue in your present situation until an applica- 
tion for admission into the Union can be made in a 
constitutional mode to the new government. 

" 'This step will, in my opinion, tend to preserve 
unanimity and will enable you to adopt with effect 
such measures as may be necessary to promote the 
interest of the district. In private conferences which 
I have had with Mr. Gardoqui, the Spanish minister 
at this place, I have been assured by him in the 
most explicit terms that if Kentucky will declare 
her independence and empower some proper person 
to negotiate with him, he has authority and will 
engage to open the navigation of the Mississippi for 
the exportation of their produce on terms of mutual 
advantage : but that this privilege never can be ex- 
tended to them while a part of the United States, 
by reason of commercial treaties existing between 
that court and other powers of Europe. As there 
is no reason to doubt the sincerity of this declara- 
tion. I have thought proper to communicate it to a 
few confidential friends in the district, with his 
permission, not doubting but that they will make a 
prudent use of the information— which is in part 
confirmed by dispatches received yesterday by con- 
gress from Mr. Carmichael, our minister at that 



court (Spain), the contents of which I am not at 
liberty to disclose. 

•"Congress is now engaged in framing an ordi- 
nance for putting the new government into mo- 
tion; it is not yet complete, but as it now stands 
the elections are to be made in December and 
the new congress to meet in February, but it 
may undergo alterations. Ten states have rati- 
fied—this state, New York, is now in session; 
what the result of their deliberations will be is 
yet doubtful; two-thirds of the members are op- 
posed, but it is probable they may be influenced 
by motives of e.xpediency. North Carolina will 
adopt; time alone can determine how far the new 
government will answer the expectations of its 
friends; my hopes are sanguine; the change was 

" 'I fear, should the present treaty at Muskingum 
prove successful, that we shall have an Indian war 
on all our borders. I do not expect the present con- 
gress will, in that case, be able to take any effectual 
measures for our defense. 

"There is not a dollar in the Federal treasury 
which can be appropriated to that purpose. I ?hall 
leave this place shortly and expect to be at the Sep- 
tember term. I have enjoyed my usual good health 
and have spent my time here agreeably. 

" 'I am with great esteem. 

" 'Your humble servant, 

" 'J. Brown.' " 

"A letter bearing date the I5tli of October, 
1/88, from George Muter, the chief justice of 
the district, will evince his impressions of the 
actual and probable emergency. It is apparent 
that the conservative parties were much con- 
cerned. Justice Muter says: 'Forming a 
constitution of government and organizing the 
same, before the consent of the legislatiu'e of 
Virginia for that purpose first obtained, will 
be directly contrary to the letter and spirit of 
the act of assembly, entitled "An Act for pun- 
ishing certain offenses an<l vesting the gover- 
nor with certain powers," which declares that 
every person or persons who shall erect or es- 
tablish government separate from or inde- 
pendent of the state of \'irginia within the 
limits thereof, unless by act of the legislature 
for that pm^pose first obtained, or shall exer- 

cise any office under such usurped govern- 
ment, shall be guilty of high treason. 

" 'The third section of the foiu-th article of 
the constitution expressly declares "that no 
new state shall be formed or erected within 
the jurisdiction of another state; nor any 
state be formed out of the junction of two 
or more states without the consent of the legis- 
latures of the states concerned as well as of 
congress." Therefore, the consent of Vir- 
ginia to the separation must first be obtained 
agreeably to the above-cited section, to afford 
Kentucky any prospect of being admitted a 
member of the Federal Union. 

" 'In the tenth section of the first article of 
the Federal constitution it is declared "that no 
state shall enter into any treaty, alliance or 
confederation." Of course, it must follow that 
no part of a state can enter into any treaty, 
alliance or confederation. 

" 'The resolution of the late convention, if 
adopted by the people, might fairly be con- 
strued to gi\'e authority to the next to treat 
with Spain to obtain the navigation of the 
Mississippi, if they should think such a meas- 
ure conducive to their interest ; when it 
might plainly appear by the before-cited sec- 
tion that any other application than to the 
assembly of Virginia and to the congress of 
the United States, must be contrary to the 
Federal constitution. 

" 'It is, therefore, submitted to the citizens 
of Fayette whether it may not be necessary 
in their instructions to their delegates, to di- 
rect them not to agree to the forming of a 
constitution and form of government and or- 
ganizing the same, until the consent of the leg- 
islature of \''irginia for that purpose is first 
obtained ; not to agree to make any application 
whatever to obtain the navigation of the Mis- 
sissippi other than to the legislature of Vir- 
ginia and the congress of the United States ; 
to draw up and forward to the assembly of 
X'irginia a memorial requesting them to alter 
their acts for the separation of this district 



from \'irginia. that the same may be brought 
before Congress in the manner directed by the 
Federal constitution, and to request them to 
authorize the convention by law to form a 
government and to organize the same, or 
direct a new convention to be chosen to con- 
tinue in office a reasonable time and to be 
vested with those powers. 

" 'To forward to the assembly of \lrginia 
and the Congress of the United States a decent 
and manly memorial, requesting that such 
measures may be pursued by congress, or that 
\'irginia will use her influence with congress 
to take such measures as shall be most likely 
to procure for the people of the western coun- 
try, the navigation of the Mississippi. 

"■(Signed) George Muter.'" 

The delay of congress and the long suffer- 
ing of the people did not tend to allay the de- 
sire for an independent government if speedy 
relief were not obtained. Some Indians from 
southern tribes committed murders and other 
outrages in Lincoln county and were pursued 

and properly punished by the settlers. The 
tribe to which they belonged complained that 
the white people were the first aggressors, and 
demanded reparation from the governor of 
\'irginia who instructed Judge Harry Innes to 
suppress the practices complained of by the 
Indians by public prosecution. 

To this order Judge Innes replied: 'Tn my 
official capacity, I cannot do it ; in a private 
capacity, the attempt would make me odious." 
In the opinion of the learned judge it is fair 
to assume that the only good Indian was a 
dead Indian. Concluding his letter he says : 
"The Indians have been very troublesome on 
our frontier and continue to molest us. I am 
decidedly of the opinion that this western 
country will, in a few years, act for itself and 
erect an independent government ; for, under 
the present system we cannot exert our 
strength : neither does congress seem disposed 
to protect us, since those troops raised for the 
defense of the western country are disbanded. 
I have dropped this hint to Your Excellency 
for matter of reflection." 


SicvENTii Convention Meets— Revolution Proposed— Wilkinson and a Free ^^Iississiiti 

— Congressman Brown to the Front — Address to Spanish Intendant "Court" 

Party in Power— Wilkinson and the Mississippi— Old-Time Address to \'irginia. 

The people were in a state of unrest. Seven 
times they had chosen delegates to conventions 
yet no tangible results had followed. They 
seemed to be as far from statehood as when 
they began, and the future held but slight 
hopes for better success. It is not surprising 
that some good men favored the setting up of 
an independent government which promised 
free navigation of tlie only river which of- 
fered them a market for their products. It is 
not a fair statement to call these men traitors. 
That is an easy word to speak but a hard one 
to bear, as many Kentuckians were to learn 
in years to come. There were corrupt men in 
the state ; men whose palms had been crossed 
with Spanish gold, but the masses were then as 
now, incorruptible. 

In November, 1788, the seventh convention 
met at Danville. There was a curious yet 
suggestive political division of delegates. 
Some new faces appeared at this meeting, 
among them Humphrey Marshall and Thomas 
Marshall. There, too, were Muter, Crockett, 
Allen and Edwards, who, with the Marshalls, 
were termed the "country" party, while John 
Brown, General Wilkinson, Sebastian and 
Harry Innes were know^n as of the "court" 
party ; a somewhat sinister designation, since 
it implied an alliance or understanding with 
the court of Spain which was. so far as it re- 
ferred to some of those named, a possible in- 

justice. That the designation fitted Wilkinson 
and Sebastian there is but little doubt, since 
after developments showed each to have been 
in the pay of the Spanish government. 

The chief issue before the convention was 
the method to be followed in separating from 
Virginia. This question was brought to a di- 
rect issue by a motion to submit the resolu- 
tions of the sixth convention to the committee 
of the whole. The "court" party was in favor 
of this reference and sought to force to the 
front the question of the navigation of the 
Mississippi and the formation of a constitu- 
tion, with or without the sanction of Virginia. 
This was revolution, pure and simple, since 
it was in defiance of the provisions of the Fed- 
eral constitution to which \'irginia had ^iven 
its approval and, as the district was still a part 
of \'irginia, it was included in that approval. 

The question at issue was of great moment, 
and was pressed earnestly and eloquently by 
General Wilkinson who had golden reasons to 
urge him on. Marshall, who had no sympa- 
thy with Wilkinson or his views, represents 
the latter to have said in the discussion: "Spain 
had objections to granting the navigation in 
question to the United States ; it was not to be 
presumed that congress would obtain it for 
Kentucky, or even the western country only; 
her treaties must be general. There was one 
wav and but one, that he knew of, for obviat- 




ing these difficulties, and that was so fortified 
by constitutions and so guarded by laws that 
it was dangerous of access and hopeless of at- 
tainment under present circumstances. It was 
the certain course, which had been indicated 
in the former convention, which he would not 
now repeat, but which every gentleman pres- 
ent would connect with a declaration of inde- 
pendence, the formation of a constitution, and 
the organization of a new state which might 
safely find its way into the Union on terms ad- 
vantageous to its interests and prosperity. He 
expatiated upon the prosperous circumstances 
of the country ; its increasing population, its 
rich productions and its imperious claims to 
the benefits of commerce through the Missis- 
sippi, its only outlet. 

"That the same difficulties did not exist on 
the part of Spain to concede to the people on 
the western waters the right of navigating the 
river which she had to a treaty with the United 
States, there were many reasons for suppos- 
ing : that there was information of the first 
importance on that subject within the power 
of the convention which, he doubted not, it 
would be agreeable for the members to have 
and for the gentleman who possessed it to 

This reference, of course, was to John 
Brown, a delegate, who was also a delegate 
from Mrginia to the congress and whose letter 
to George Muter showed him to have been in 
communication with Gardoqui, the Spanish 

Mr. Brown, understanding the reference of 
General Wilkinson, arose and said that "he 
did not think himself at liberty to disclose 
what had passed in private conferences be- 
tween the Spanish minister, Mr. Gardoqui, 
and himself; but this much, in general, he 
would venture to inform the convention, that, 
provided we are unanimous, everything we 
could wish for was within our reach." 

When Mr. Brown had concluded. General 
Wilkinson arose and was granted permission 
to read an address, directed to the Spanish 

"Intendant at New Orleans." This address 
which was very lengthy has been excellently 
epitomized by Smith as follows : "The au- 
thor urged the natural right of the western 
people to follow the current of rivers flowing 
through their country into the sea, the great 
common and highway of nations. 

"The extent of the country, the richness of 
the soil, the quantity and variety of produc- 
tions suitable for foreign markets, for which 
there were no avenues of conveyance should 
the Mississippi be closed to their export. 

"The advantages which Spain would derive 
from allowing free use of the river to those on 
its various waters by increase of trade and 
revenue to her. 

"That the population of Kentucky was rap- 
idly increasing and that each individual looked 
forward to the free navigation of the Missis- 
sippi with the greatest solicitude. 

"The general abhorrence with which the 
people of the western waters received the in- 
telligence that congress was about to cede to 
Spain the exclusive right of navigating the 
river for twenty-five years. 

"That the western people were being driven 
to the alternative of separating themselves 
from the Union on that account, considering 
the navigation indispensable to their future 
growth and prosperity. These commercial ad- 
vantages outweighed the political considera- 
tions presented in favor of a connection with 
the Federal Union. 

"That should Spain be so blind to her true 
interest as to refuse the use of the river to the 
western people, and thereby compel a resort 
to military means, Great Britain stood ready 
with a sufficient force of armed allies, to co- 
operate with them in enforcing the great na- 
tional right. 

"That the whole Spanish possessions in 
America would be endangered by such a com- 
bined movement, should the British, who now 
hold the mouth of the St. Lawrence, also seize 
and command the mouth of the Mississippi." 
Wilkinson was a shrewd and grasping man. 



soldier and politician, too. He knew the 
magic chord on which, as a politician, he 
should play. The dominant question of the 
hour was not so much the erection of the dis- 
trict of Kentucky into a state of the Union, 
as the free navigation of the Mississippi river. 
He had interests, golden interests, at the 
mouth of that river ; the people of Kentucky 
must have a market and the river opened one 
to them. Wilkinson bought their products, 
floated them down that river and returning 
paid them in good Spanish gold. He had 
touched the pocket nerve and knew his ad- 
vantages. This he kept ever before the con- 
vention, fie was a more successful emissary 
of Spain than Gardoc|ui would have been, had 
he been given a seat in the convention. Yet 
Wilkinson did some things to the advantage 
of the district for which he should have credit. 
He made a market at New Orleans for Ken- 
tucky's products and he brought back to the 
district the proceeds of the sales and so far as 
the records show, honestly met his obligations. 
But he v\'as all of this time in the pay of Spain ; 
that is the blot upon his escutcheon. 

The motion to refer the resolutions of the 
sixth convention was adopted, which was re- 
garded as a triumph for the "court" or Span- 
ish party. Committees were appointed to 
consider various questions and upon nearly all 
of these Wilkinson was appointed as a mem- 
ber. His party was dominant in the conven- 
tion and he seemed to be dominant in his party. 
John Brown, one might suppose, being a dele- 
gate in congress, and to the convention as 
well, would have ranked high in committee 
assignments, but Wilkinson took the leading 
place while Brown sat in the rear. Wilkinson 
was the controlling spirit while behind his 
seat in the convention, there lurked, invisible, 
the Spanish face of Don Gardoqui. The gold 
which he had so wisely distributed was ap- 
parently returning values ten-fold to his 

The leaders of the "country" party, the men 

Vol. 1—8. 

who were for their own country whatever 
might betide, were alarmed by the strength of 
the followers of Wilkinson and attempted to 
counteract it. Colonel Crockett left the con- 
vention for Lexington and there obtained 
three hundred signatures to a paper protest- 
ing against separation from the Union. Among 
these signers were men of Wilkinson's con- 
stituency. With these signatures, he returned 
to Danville and the convention. The petition 
of citizens of Mercer and Madison asking the 
convention to pray congress that it adopt 
measures at once to obtain the free navigation 
of the Mississippi was presented and referred 
to a special committee. 

To again secure the consent of Virginia for 
the independence of Kentucky in accordance 
with the will of congress, a committee was 
appointed consisting of Messrs. Muter, Jouett, 
Allen and Wilkinson. The latter, for a previ- 
ously appointed committee, prepared and read 
this address : 

"To the United States in Congress assem- 
Ijled: The people of Kentucky represented 
in convention, as freemen, as citizens, and as 
part of the American Republic, beg leave by 
this humble petition, to state their rights and 
to call for protection in them. 

"When the peace had secured to America 
that sovereignty and independence for which 
she had so nobly contended, we could not, like 
our Atlantic friends, retire to enjoy in ease the 
blessings of freedom. 

"Many of us had expended in the struggle 
for our country's rights that property which 
would have enabled us to possess a compe- 
tency with our liberty. 

"On the western waters, the commonwealth 
of \'irginia possessed a fair but uninhabited 
wild. In this wilderness we sought, after hav- 
ing procured liberty for our posterity, to pro- 
vide for their support. Inured to hardships 
by a long warfare, we ventured into the almost 
impenetrable forests; without bread or do- 
mestic animals, we depended upon the casual 



supplies afforded by the chase ; hunger was 
our familiar attendant, and even our unsavory 
meals were made upon the wet surface of the 
earth with the cloud-deformed canopy for our 
covering. Though forced to pierce the thicket, 
it was not in safety we trod; the wily savage 
thirsted for our blood, lurked in the paths and 
seized the unsuspecting hunter. While we 
lamented the loss of a friend, a brother, a 
father, a wife, a child became a victim of the 
barbarian tomahawk. Instead of consolation, 
a new and greater misfortune deadened the 
sense of former inflictions. From the Union 
we receive no support, but we impeach not 
their justice. Ineffectual treaties, often re- 
newed and as often broken by the savage na- 
tions, served only to supply them with the 
means of our destruction. But no human 
cause could control that Providence which 
destined this Western country to be the seat 
of a civilized and happy people. The period 
of its accomplishment was distant but it ad- 
vanced with rapid and incredible strides. We 
derive strength from our misfortunes and 
numbers from our losses. The unparallelled 
fertility of our soil made grateful returns far 
disproportioned to the slight labor which our 
safety would permit us to bestow. Our fields 
and herds afforded us not only sufficient sup- 
port for ourselves, but also for the emigrants 
who annually doubled our numbers, and even 
a surplus still remains for exportation. This 
surplus would be far greater did not a narrow 
policy shut up our navigation and discourage 
our industry. 

"To this situation we call your attention. 
We beg you to trace the Mississippi from the 
ocean, survey the innumerable rivers which 
water your Western territory and pay their 
tribute to its greatness ; examine the luxuriant 
soil which those rivers traverse. Then we 
ask, can the God of wisdom and nature have 
created that vast country in vain ? Was it for 
nothing that He blessed it with a fertility al- 
most incredible? Did He not provide those 

great streams which flow into the Mississippi 
and by it communicate with the Atlantic, that 
other nations and climes might with us enjoy 
the blessings of our fruitful soil? View the 
country and you will answer for yourselves. 
But can the presumptuous madness of man 
imagine a policy inconsistent with the im- 
luense designs of the Deity? Americans 

"As it is the natural right of the people of 
this country to navigate the Mississippi, so 
they have also the right derived from treaties 
and national compacts. Shall we not avail 
ourselves of those natural and conventional 
rights so vital to our future? 

"By the treaty of peace concluded in the 
year 1763 between the crowns of Great Brit- 
ain, France and Spain, the free navigation of 
the river Mississippi was ascertained to Great 
Britain. The right thus ascertained was ex- 
ercised by the subjects of that crown till the 
peace of 1783. and conjointly with them by 
the citizens of the United States. 

"By the treaty in wliich Great I'ritain ac- 
knowledged the independence of the United 
States, she also ceded to them the free navi- 
gation of the Mississippi. It was a right nat- 
urally and essentially annexed to the 
possession of this Western country. As such, 
it was claimed by America and it was upon 
that principle that she claimed it; yet the 
court of Spain, who possess the country at 
the mouth of the Mississippi, have obstructed 
our citizens in the enjoyment of that right. 

"If policy is the motive which actuates po- 
litical conduct, you will support us in this 
right, and thereby enable us to assist in the 
support of government. If you will be really 
our fathers, stretch forth your hands to save 
us. If you will be worthy guardians, defend 
our rights. We are a member that would 
exert any muscle for your service. Do not cut 
us off from your body. By every tie of con- 
sanguinity and affection, by the remembrance 
of the blood we have mingled in a common 



cause, by a regard for justice and policy, we 
conjure you to procure our right. 

"Let not your beneficence be circumscribed 
by the mountains which divide us, but let us 
feel that you really are the guardians and as- 
serters of our rights ; then you will secure the 
prayers of a people whose gratitude would be 
as warm as the vindication of their rights will 
be eternal ; then our connection shall be per- 
petuated to the latest times, a monument of 
your justice and a terror to your enemies." 

The address to the general assembly of 
\'irginia seeking an act of separation, was 
now finally agreed to by the convention, fol- 
lowing the Wilkinson paper, the gist of which 
has been given. The address was as follows : 

"To tlic General Assembly uf Ike Coiiuiioii- 
icealth of Virginia — Gentlemen : The representatives 
of the good people inhabiting the several counties 
composing the district of Kentucky in convention 
met beg leave again to address you on the great and 
important subject of their separation irom the par- 
ent state and being made a member of the Federal 
Union. Being fully impressed with these ideas and 
justified by frequent examples, we conceive it our 
duty from the regard we owe to our constituents 
and being encouraged by the action of congress, 
again to apply to your honorable body, praying that 
an act may pass at the present session for enabling 
the good people of the Kentucky district to obtain 
an independent government and be admitted into the 
confederation as a member of the Federal Union, 
upon such terms and conditions as to you may appear 
proper and equitable; and that you transmit such 
act to the president of the convention with all con- 
venient dispatch, in order for our consideration and 
the final completion of the business. Finally, 
we again solicit the friendly interposition of the 

parent state with the congress of the United 
States for a speedy admission of the district into 
the Federal Union; and also, to urge that hon- 
orable body, in the most express terms, to take 
effectual measures for procuring to the inhabi- 
tants of this district the free navigation of the Mis- 
sissippi river, without which the situation of a large 
part of the community will be wretched and miser- 
able and may be the source of future evils. 

"Ordered that the president sign and the clerk 
attest the said address, and that the same be en- 
closed by the president to the house of delegates." 
General Wilkinson offered and the conven- 
tion adopted the following: 

"Resolved, that a committee be appointed to 
draft an address to the good people of the district 
setting forth the principles from which this conven- 
tion acts ; representing to them their true condition ; 
urging the necessity of union, concord and mutual 
concession ; and solemnly calling upon them to fur- 
nish this convention, at its next session, with in- 
structions in what manner to proceed on the im- 
portant subject to them submitted." 

The committee called for by this resolution 
was composed of Messrs. Wilkinson, Innes, 
Jouett, Muter, Sebastian, Allen and Caldwell. 
Thus the committee was controlled by what 
was known as the "court" party, though it 
failed to avail itself of the opportunity to ex- 
cite the people in favor of an immediate sep- 
aration from \'irginia and the setting up of 
an independent state. It is altogether prob- 
able that the "court" party, with perhaps two 
exceptions. Wilkinson and Sebastian, was as 
loyal to the Union and as subservient to the 
constitution and the laws, as were the mem- 
bers of the "country" party. 


Bitterness After the Convention — Spain'sTempting Offer — Charges Against VVil- 
Kixsox — A British Emissary — Cincinnati Founded — John Filson and the Filson 

And thus atljuurnetl the seventh convention 
which had considered the question of Ken- 
tucky's separation from Virginia and achiiis- 
sion into the Federal Union, yet the chstrict 
seemed no nearer the goal sought than when 
the agitation had first begun. Arizona and 
New Me.xico, of late years, seeking Statehood 
now about to he accomplished, have thought 
the way hard and long, but theirs has been a 
primrose path of dalliance compared to that 
of Kentucky. Nevada, then as now, a rotten 
borough, the State of legalized prize-fights 
and easy divorces, was admitted to the Union 
for the mere asking, though the entire State 
had not then, nor has it now, a voting popula- 
tion equal to that of some Congressional dis- 
tricts in other states of the Union. West 
Virginia, ravished from the old Mother of 
States without asking her consent, was admit- 
ted to the Union almost without asking for 
such a favor : but Kentucky, one of the bright 
stars in the galaxy of states, was forced to 
take the suppliant's place for years and 
though the first to ask for the high honor of 
Statehood was ignored and compelled to see 
Vermont, which had never joined the Confed- 
eration, admitted before it. 

The adjournment of the convention brought 
to Kentucky the first of the many political 
contests which have marked its history with a 
bitterness not in keeping with the question at 

issue. Charges of treason were bantiied about 
as though that most serious of offenses were 
no more than a charge of disorderly conduct. 
The men of today who have passed beyond 
the half-century mark, have heard the same 
charge made against the best men of Ken- 
tucky and have seen those same men haled to 
prison walls simply because they differed in 
political opinion from some of their neigh- 
bors. In the time of war the laws are silent, 
and good men, with the bad, must suffer not 
only indignity but greater wrongs, as hun- 
dreds of Kentuckians did in 1861-5. But 
there was no war other than a war of words, 
when our good grandfathers fought political 
battles and called each other hard names after 
the adjournment of this seventh convention. 
They were desperately in earnest, these fore- 
fathers of ours, no matter on which side they 
were aligned, and if in the heat of the contest 
they used harsh terms, they did no more than 
we, their descendants, do today with not a 
tithe of reason therefor. We prate of the 
necessity for two great parties in a system 
like ours and straightway proclaim the mem- 
bers of the party opposed to our own as 
thieves, meanwhile meeting those same 
"thieves" on terms of personal equality as our 
friends : fraternizing with them in the lodges 
to which we jointly belong; kneeling with 
them at the altar rail of the churches in which 



we ami tliey worship ; inviting them lu our 
homes ; giving to them our daughters in mar- 
riage and in every way, except that of poH- 
tics, accepting them as our social equals and 
hosom friends. It has been thus from the be- 
ginning of politics ; it will be thus to the end 
of politics, which will be when Gabriel has 
sounded his trumpet for the last time. This 
protest avails naught ; the men most guilty of 
the charges herein made will be the first to 
admit their truthfulness and the last to learn 
moderation and justice from them. 

P.ut this publication professes to be a his- 
tory, not a moral essay, and the politicians and 
their devious ways may well be left out of it. 
Spain, ever a land of intrigue, was lending 
every aid to those who would have Kentucky 
declare her independence and set up as a 
state separate and apart from the Union. 
Good men and bad men favored the plan. 
Consider the isolated situation of Kentucky; 
cut off bv mountain ranges even from Vir- 
ginia, of which it was a part ; subject to savage 
raids and savage horrors, with none other than 
its own people to look to for aid in times of 
jtj-ess; — is it any wonder that the pioneers 
grew sick at heart and were ready to accept 
anything that offered a change no matter the 
source whence it came? Good men favored 
the plan hopeful that it would be for the bet- 
terment of all the people; bad men, and there 
were not many of these, favored it because 
they hoped for the betterment of their own 
interests, political and financial. Spain was 
offering much: The exclusive right to navi- 
gation of the Mississippi river; trade with all 
Spanish America which then comprised all 
the territory west of the Mississippi to the 
Gulf of Mexico; all east of the river to the 
Atlantic, south of the latitude of Natchez, 
besides all of Mexico. This was a tempting 
offer and in sharp contrast to what congress 
had done or rather had not done. 

Meanwhile, the best lands of Kentucky 
were being covered by Virginia warrants, the 

sums of mone\- paid for these lands being 
covered into the Virginia treasury. The peo- 
ple of Kentucky felt that this money should 
be theirs. They had at their own e.xpense of 
money and the blood of their brothers, re- 
deemed these lands from the savage and were 
now compelled to sit idly by and see the pro- 
ceeds of their great sulTerings and sorrows 
emptied into the laps of those who had shared 
none of their dangers. There were shrewd 
men who believed that Kentuckv statehood 
had met its inany obstacles to the end that 
these land transfers might be made to the ad- 
vantage of \'irginia. But the masses did not 
join in this belief. Many of them, the great 
majority of them, were natives of the Mother 
State and retained an affection for it; they 
could think no evil of it. This feeling exists 
today. No Kentuckian in whose veins flows 
Virginia blood, but looks with veneration and 
affection upon that splendid old State, upon 
every foot of which the god of war has set 
his foot and upon every foot of which history 
has been written in the crimson stains of war. 
Great in prosperity; greater still in adversity, 
the proud Mother of States and of Presidents, 
is worthy to be reckoned as first among the 
commonwealths of the Union. And Ken- 
tucky did not prove unworthy of its high lin- 
eage. Though the Spaniard and his unworthy 
coadjutors, their pockets filled with his tamted 
gold, pleaded never so entrancingly — in the 
end, Kentuck}- proved true to herself; true to 
the splendid deeds of her pioneer citizens, 
and to the good mother from which she 
sprang, and in tlie face of manifold disap- 
pointments, calmly bided her time, confident 
that justice would yet be done and that she 
would be permitted to take her place in the 
galaxy of States. 

General Wilkinson was not a Virginian,' but 
a native of Maryland. He had served with 
some distinction in the War of the Revolution, 
at the close of which his active mind turned to 
the accumulation of wealth. He saw his op- 



portunity in Kentucky and came hither with 
his eyes directed towards trade with the Span- 
ish possessions in which he embarked with 
financial success. This led him into deeper 
waters than those of trade and he soon became 
a secret agent of Spain in the efforts of that 
country to separate Kentucky from its alle- 
giance to Virginia and the Union. There 
have been two opinions as to Wilkinson. One 
party has claimed that he sought only valua- 
ble trade relations ; the other, that he not 
only sought trade relations valuable to the 
district — and himself — but that he went fur- 
ther and lent his great talents to Spain for so 
many pieces of gold. 

Butler, writing at an early period in the 
history of the state, but after Washington had 
been inaugurated as president for the first 
time, says : 

"To the new president-elect. Colonel 
Thomas Marshall wrote an account of the 
district and of such symptoms of foreign in- 
trigue and internal disaffection as had mani- 
fested themselves to him, the names of 
Wilkinson and Brown being alone mentioned 
among the implicated. In this communica- 
tion Colonel Marshall was, it ought not to be 
doubted, actuated by an honorable zeal for 
the interests of his country, though the author 
is constrained to say, from the evidence now 
accessible, a mistaken one, of which both he 
and his illustrious correspondent were after- 
wards convinced. This inference flows from 
a letter of General Washington to Colonel 
Marshall as follows : 

" 'In acknowledging the receipt of your letter of 
the nth of September, I must beg you to accept my 
thanks for the pleasing communication which it 
contains of the good will of the people of Kentucky 
toward the government of the United States. I 
never doubted but that operations of this govern- 
ment, if not perverted by prejudice or evil designs, 
would inspire the citizens of America with such 
confidence in it, as effectually to do away these 
apprehensions, which, under our former confedera- 
tion, our best men entertained of divisions among 

themselves, or allurements from other nations. I 
am, therefore, happy to find that such a disposition 
prevails in your part of the country as to remove 
any idea of that evil which, a few years ago, you so 
much dreaded.' " 

Butler continues as the advocate of Colonel 
Wilkinson, saying: "This letter, taken in 
connection with the subsequent appointment 
of Wilkinson to be a Lieutenant Colonel in 
the army, at the recommendation of Colonel 
Marshall, as well as others, and the repeated 
military commissions of high trust and ex- 
pressions of thanks to Messrs. Brown, Junes, 
Scott, Shelby and Logan amply confirms the 
idea that the imputed disaffection of any of 
these distinguished citizens to the Union of 
the states, had been abandoned by Colonel 
Marshall himself; and most certainly by 
Washington, if ever admitted to disturb his 
serene and benevolent mind." 

Wilkinson, for himself, says: "The people 
are open to savage depredations; exposed to 
the jealousies of the Spanish government; 
unprotected by that of the old confederation, 
and denied the navigation of the Mississippi 
river, the only practicable channel by which 
the productions of their labor can find a mar- 

Daniel Clarke writes to Secretary Picker- 
ing: "All who ventured upon the Mississippi 
had their property seized by the first com- 
manding officer whom they met and little or 
no communication was kept up between the 
two countries." 

Clarke's statement is not in keeping with 
the fact that Wilkinson on his return from 
trading expeditions to New Orleans, always 
returned with money with which he dis- 
charged his obligations to those from whom 
he had purchased his cargoes. When Wilkin- 
son was appointed to the command of the 
army charges were made that he had been in 
the pay of Spain, and he made defense that 
the moneys he had received were the proceeds 
of the sales of the merchandise he had floated 



down the river to New Orleans. And the 
court-martial evidently believed him, as it 
brought in a verdict in his favor. 

But Spain was not the only tempter hold- 
ing out glittering offers to Kentucky. In 
1788, a Dr. Connolly came to Lexington os- 
tensibly to make an effort to recover 2,000 
acres of land at Louisville, which had been 
forfeited by his adherence to the British 
crown during the Revolution. He came from 
Quebec, Canada, and was accompanied by a 
Colonel Campbell of Louisville, and with him 
called on Colonel Thomas Marshall, Judge 
George Muter and later on General Wilkin- 
son. To these gentlemen Connolly stated that 
Great Britain was ready to give to Kentucky 
the same protection as she extended to Canada 
if the district would ally itself to the empire. 
In addition, the free navigation of the Missis- 
sippi river was guaranteed, to secure which, 
Connolly declared there were 4.000 British 
troops ready to be sent down the river to take 
New Orleans if that be found necessary. 
Connolly's offer was not warmly received and 
the news becoming current that an English 
spy was in the town some serious entertain- 
ment was about to be prepared for him, to 
avoid which he was secretly conveyed to 
Maysville, whence he returned to Canada. 
The recollection of savage outrages incited by 
the English was so fresh in the minds of the 
people that had Connolly not fled, it is prob- 
able that something more serious than the 
confiscation of his landed estate might have 
happened. The climate of Kentucky at that 
time, was malarious and filled with danger 
for secret agents of the British crown. 

During this year the site of the present city 
of Cincinnati, Ohio, was laid out. The eight 
hundred acres of land, described as being op- 
posite the mouth of the Licking river in Ken- 
tucky, was purchased from a man named 
Symmes, who claimed that the earth w^as hol- 
low and whose strange theories as to what 
would be found at the north pole were of in- 
terest to scientists who wrote voluminously of 
"Symmes' Hole," which, by the way, Peary 
did not find when he reached the pole. The 
price paid by the purchaser, Mathias Denman, 
was $500 in continental money. Denman sold 
two-thirds of the land to John Filson and 
Robert Patterson who, with a party of fifteen, 
came from Limestone, surveyed and staked 
off lots and gave to the newdy-fledged city the 
name of Losantville, which it bore with com- 
mendable fortitude tmtil it occurred to some 
one to change it to Cincinnati, under which 
latter name it has flourished and grown to the 
dimensions of a respectable city in size. 

John Filson, the first of Kentucky histo- 
rians, was subsequently killed by Indians. 
His memory is kept green in Kentucky by 
the "Filson Club," of Louisville, an organiza- 
tion of excellent women and men interested in 
the history of Kentucky. The president is 
Colonel Reuben T. Durrett, in whose library 
the monthly meetings are held, and where may 
be found more of Kentucky's early history 
than elsewhere in the world. 

Two new counties. Mason and Woodford, 
had been formed by the Virginia legislature 
and the towns of Maysville, Danville and 
Paris incorporated, the last named being 
first knowm as Hopewell. 


Objection to Debt Clause — Fourth Act of Separation — Ninth Convention Meets^ 
Fruition of Hopes, Long Deferred — First State Government — Governor Shelby— 
The Bullitt Family — "He Was a Breckinridge" — Governmental Wheels Start- - 
Natural Speakers and Officials — First and Shortest Session — Honest State Leg- 
islators Needed. 

There were in Kentucky in 1790, seventy- 
three thousand, six hundred and seventy-three 
inhabitants ; of these sixty-one thousand, one 
hundred and thirty-three were whites ; twelve 
thousand, four hundred and thirty slaves and 
one hundred and fourteen free colored people. 

The third act of separation for Kentucky 
contained clauses requiring the payment by 
the district of a portion of the domestic debt 
of Virginia. It was also required that the 
state and continental soldiers should locate 
their land warrants in Kentucky. Each of 
these provisions was objectionable, especially 
the first. The people of the district had 
fought their own battles ; paid their own ex- 
penses, and were not in a pliant mood when 
their assistance in paying other people's debts 
was demanded by Virginia. They cared less 
about the land warrant clause, but this, too, 
was objectionable. 

July 1789, the eighth convention met at 
Danville and rejected the conditions above 
noted, at the same time memorializing the Vir- 
ginia legislature to abolish them. When that 
body met in December following, this request 
was complied with and a fourth act of sepa- 
ration adopted. A new convention was to be 
assembled July 26, 1790, to determine the 
wishes of the district as to separation. .Vs 
this was only the ninth convention ordered for 

the consideration of an act of separation and 
as all former conventions had favored separa- 
tion the requirement in this last act seems to 
belong in the category of jokes if one may 
accuse his grave and reverend forefathers of 
joking about so serious a matter as legislation. 
Other conditions were that Congress should 
release Virginia, prior to the ist of Novem- 
ber, 1 79 1, from all her federal obligations 
arising from the district; that the proposed 
state shall on the day after separation, be ad- 
mitted into the Union and that such day shall 
be after the ist day of November, 1791. 

The ninth convention met at Danville, July 
26, 1790, accepted the modified terms of the 
latest act of the Virginia legislature and se- 
lected June I, 1792, as the day on which Ken- 
tucky should become a full-fledged state, 
separate from \'irginia. An address to the 
legislature of the latter was agreed upon as 
well as a memorial to the president of the 
Lhiited States, praying that he and congress 
should sanction their proceedings, at the same 
time ofi"ering assurances of admiration and 
loyalty to the new government. Those good 
old forefathers of ours hold the championship 
on conventions and were ready writers in the 
matter of addresses, memorials and such ex- 
pressions of their very positive opinions. 

It was ordered that on the respective court 




days of the counties to be held in December, 
179 1, delegates should be elected and who 
shoidd meet at Danville on the first Monday 
in April, 1792, for the purpose of forming a 
constitution for the new State, together with 
a code of laws to remain until repealed or re- 
enacted by a legislature to be subsequently 

Congress, in February, 1791, had passed an 
act admitting Kentucky as a State of the 
Union, said act to take effect June i, 1792. 

■In December, 1791, delegates to a constitu- 
tional convention were chosen and these met 
at Danville, April 3, 1792, and proceeded to 
adopt the first constitution of the sovereign 
state of Kentucky which was to become ef- 
fective on the 1st day of June, 1792. For 
eight years the people had sought the boon of 
statehood ; ten times had they chosen dele- 
gates to conventions the object of which was 
securing admission into the Union and at last, 
after patient wait and vigil long, there came 
the fruition of their hopes. 

The historian, Marshall, ^a learned man, 
and a Federalist who, if living today would 
probably be called a Republican, says of the 
new constitution : "It is to be observed that 
antecedent to the formation of the constitu- 
tion an immense mass of information had 
been presented to the public mind in news- 
paper essays and in books, on political sub- 
jects, while, in addition to these, may be men- 
tioned the Constitutions of the States as 
storehouses or fountains of information from 
which to draw constitutional provisions." 

The newly-elected governor, Isaac Shelby, 
and the first legislature of Kentucky met at 
Lexington, June 4, 1792. It seems at this dis- 
tance of time that poetic justice would have 
given the honor of this meeting to Danville 
which had been the "convention city" of the 
district and had fairly won the honor of hav- 
ing the first legislature meet within its bor- 
ders. But to Lexington went the honors and 
ran\il!e people could fairly rest on their 

laurels .saying: '■Well, we do not care; the 
people of the district held ten conventions 
here in eight years and no other place has had 
such honor." 

On the assembling of the legislature, 
Alexander Scott Bullitt of Jefferson, was 
elected speaker of the senate, and Robert 
Ijreckinridge of Fayette, speaker of the 
house. Thus three names that were to be- 
come noted in Kentucky history were brought 
prominently to view. 

Governor Shelby had been a brave officer 
in the Revolution and had served with signal 
honor. He was twice elected governor of 
Kentucky and when years had whitened his 
locks and age had served its warning upon 
him, the ardent and veteran soldier buckled 
on his sword again, and in the war of 1812-15 
rendered valiant service against the British 
and their savage allies. His descendants in 
Kentucky have been among the foremost of 
the good citizens of the State. 

Alexander Scott Bullitt was the first sheriff 
of Jeft'erson county, and became the founder 
<.if a family that has been a credit to the state. 
It is a noteworthy coincidence that about one 
hundred years later his great-grandson and 
namesake was also sheriff' of Jefferson county 
and county attorney for the same county. 
Three of Mr. Bullitt's grandsons became 
noted lawyers ; one in Philadelphia, W. C. 
Bullitt; another, Joshua F. Bullitt, was chief 
justice of the court of appeals of Kentucky, 
while a third, Thomas W. Bullitt, a gallant 
and dashing Confederate soldier, was among 
the leaders of the bar of Louisville and of 
Kentucky, at the time of his death. His three 
sons follow in his honored footsteps and are 
all lawyers. 

Of the speaker of the house, it is only nec- 
essary to say that he was a Breckinridge. The 
very name calls up the honor and the glory of 
the state : John Breckinridge, author of the 
Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 which have 
been for more than one hundred years a guid- 



ing star for such patriots as preferred to fol- 
low the principles of true Democracy rather 
than the vain imaginings of an opportunist, 
ready to adopt any theory that might possibly 
lead to victory, place and power. 

Robert J. Breckinridge, Sr., was the most 
eminent Presbyterian divine of the countrv', 
the friend and adviser of Mr. Lincoln, and the 
father of four gallant boys — two of whom 
fought bravely for the Union in 1861-5, while 
their two elder brothers, equally gallant, won 
honors for their state and name in the army 
of the Confederacy. One of these was the 
eloquent Col. \V. C. P. Breckinridge who, for 
years, represented the famed Ashland district 
and whom the late Senator William Lindsay, 
declared was "one of the great men of Ken- 

John C. Breckinridge, Major of \"olunteers 
in the war with Mexico; representative in 
congress from the Ashland district : \'ice 
President of the L'nited States : Senator from 
Kentucky : major general in the Confederate 
army and secretary of war at the close of the 
war. The very name of Breckinridge means 
history in Kentucky. 

Two days after the organization of the 
general assembly. Governor Shelby appeared 
before a joint session of that body, and fol- 
lowing the e.xample of President Washington, 
read his message, at the conclusion of which 
he furnished a copy to the speaker of the sen- 
ate and of the house, and retired from the 
chamber. Thus quietly and with proper dig- 
nity, were the wheels of self-government first 
set in motion in Kentucky. 

James Brown was appointed Secretary of 
State and George Nicholas, Attorney General. 
The first L'nited States Senators were John 
Brown and John Edwards. Brown had rep- 
resented the District of Kentucky as a Dele- 
gate from \'irginia in the old Congress. 
There had been charges against him to the 
effect that he was engaged in what has come 
to be known as "the Spanish Conspiracy." but 

it is believed that he was not culpable nor 
guilty of any wrong-doing, his efforts, which 
led to the charge, growing out of his intense 
desire to secure for the people of Kentucky 
the free navigation of the Mississippi river 
which was necessary to their commercial 

It has been facetiously declared that "where 
two or three Kentuckians are gathered to- 
gether, some one of them makes a speech," a 
compliment to the oratorical capacity of the 
true Kentuckian, It has also been stated by 
some envious outsider, not so fortunate as to 
have been born in the State, that "if a Ken- 
tuckian is not already holding an office, he 
expects to do so before he dies," which is also 
a compliment, as it recognizes the willingness 
and capacity of the Kentuckian to assume the 
burdens of any public duty which may be 
thrust upon him by his admiring fellow-citi- 
zens. These reflections are induced by the fact 
that the very first enactment of the first gen- 
eral assembly of the state created an office, by 
a bill entitled : "An act establishing an Aud- 
itor of Public Accounts." This act was ap- 
proved by the Governor June 22, 1792, and 
became a law upon that date. Auditors of the 
state therefore have the right to feel that their 
office is of verj^ honorable lineage and confers 
distinction even though it may occasionally 
fail to lead to governorships or other higher 
positions. It is to the credit of our first leg- 
islature that its first act was in the direction of 
a proper keeping and disbursement of the 
public funds. One is led to speculate upon 
the need for such an officer, however, when 
there is no appearance of such funds or custo- 
dian therefor. The first demand up>on the 
assembly, under ordinarj- circumstances, 
would appear to have been an act to raise 
revenue, and the choice of a treasurer to care 
for it. This, however, was later attended to. 

The session of the general assembly began, 
as has been stated, on June 4, and ended on 
June 22. 1792, the shortest legislative session 



on recorJ. Thomas Toikl was clerk of the 
house and Buckner Thruston, of the senate. 
Tames E. Stone, later to win appreciative lau- 
rels as clerk in both house and senate, was not 
then eligible for the position in either body, 
owing to his youth, but was later elected and 
has since been retained as a permanency in 
one body or the other, as the one or the other 
was in political accord with his opinions. 

The general assembly recognized then, as 
now. that it needed praying for, and therefore 
elected the Rev. John Gano as chaplain. John 
Bradford was elected public printer and the 
author sincerely trusts that he escaped the 
"slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" 
which, in later years, were a portion of the 
emoluments of that unhappy position. 

Nicholas Lewis was sergeant at arms of the 
house ; Kenneth McKoy, of the senate ; Roger 
Divine was doorkeeper of the house; David 
Johnson, of the senate. These subordinate 
officials secure this historical recognition, be- 
cause they were the tirst men in Kentucky 
who ever held these positions. To enumerate 
those who succeeded them and those who at- 
tempted to do so and failed, would change 
this publication from a historj- to an excerpt 
from a census report. 

The members of the general assembly re- 
ceived one dollar per diem and twelve dollars 
extra, for the session ; the presiding officers 
receiving twenty dollars extra. The clerk 
was paid $50 and the sergeant at arms, $12 
"in full of all demands." 

A treasurer was next provided for, and then 
an anomalous condition was found to exist — 
there was no treasure. In view of this dis- 
tressing condition, the new treasurer was au- 
thorized to borrow money — if he could. 

Smith, in his "History of Kentucky." says: 
"To give an idea of the market prices of the 
times, beef was two cents per pound ; buffalo 
meat, one and one half cents; venison, one 
and a quarter cents; butter, eight cents; tur- 
keys, fifteen cents each; potatoes, fifty cents 

per barrel ; tlour, five dollars per barrel ; whis- 
ky, fifty cents per gallon." There was no 
internal revenue tax on whisky then and con- 
sequently no "moonshine" nor revenue officers 
to disturb and make afraid the proprietors 
of mountain distilleries. "The scarcity of 
money, the greater purchasing value of what 
little there was, brought the wage standard to 
a corresponding level." 

For years it has been difficult to secure the 
service in the general assembly of the best 
men of the State, for many reasons, one of 
which has been the deterioration of the house 
and senate in the good opinion of the elec- 
torate. For this, the people are themselves to 
blame. They should force their best men to 
the front; should elect them to the house or 
senate, with or without their consent. Henry 
Clay was willing to serve and did serve as a 
member of the Kentucky legislature, after he 
had won renown in the congress of the United 
States. Though there may be today no Henry 
Clays in Kentucky, there are thousands of 
good men. honest men, intelligent and capable, 
who should be drafted into the service of their 
constituents and sent to Frankfort not to rep- 
resent this or that political party ; this or that 
special interest; but the sovereign people of 
the commonwealth regardless of petty parti- 
san politics. There are interests predominant 
today which know nothing, care nothing, for 
the public good, and work alone for selfish 
advancement, choosing that party as their own 
which, for the moment, seems predominant, 
and deserting it at that time when the oppos- 
ing party appears to be about to gain the 
ascendancy. The people complain when they 
see the wrong about to triumph, yet when 
the next election comes they go "like dumb, 
driven cattle," into the election booths and 
place the stamp of their approval beneath the 
emblems of their respective parties, utterly 
regardless of the character of the men who are 
candidates upon that ticket. Then they strut 
among their fellow men and loudly proclaim 



that they "alwaj'S vote the straight ticket," 
and have never yet "scratched a ballot." The 
people who do these things, and they represent 
each of the two great parti€s in Kentucky, 
deserve all the evil that comes to them and 
more. They worship a fetich and are blinded 
by a partisanship that would be discreditable 
to an unlettered savage. The millennium i"; a 

promise in which many millions believe. It 
is sure to come some day. When it does 
come, the electorate will possibly forget party 
shibboleths and, if there are elections held 
then, will vote as duty and patriotism require, 
but it is a strain upon the imagination to con- 
sider such a proposition. 



Indian Peace Commissioners Murdered — Eastern View of Indian Question — Indians 
Reject Peace Proposal — "Mad Anthony" Moves Against Them — Kentucky Rein- 
forcements — Campaign Against the Maumees — Defeat of Indians and Allies — 
Wayne Gives British Officer "Light" — Treaty of Greenville. 

It is necessary at this point to revert to the 
Indian question again for a short time. Ma- 
jor John Adair, commanding about one hun- 
dred Kentuckians, on the 6th of November, 
1792, was attacked near Fort St. Clair in Ohio, 
by a large body of Indians under command of 
Little Turtle. After repulsing the savages 
several times Major Adair was forced to re- 
treat with a loss of six killed, all of his camp 
equipage and more than one hundred pack 
horses. The enemy, whose losses were be- 
lieved to have been greater in killed and 
wounded, than those of Major Adair, made 
no effort to pursue him being content with the 
plunder they had secured. General Wilkinson, 
who, for the time being, deserted politics for 
the army in which he now held a position, 
complimented Major Adair and his command 
for the gallantry with which they had con- 
fronted superior numbers. 

Later in the same year, Wilkinson selected 
Colonel John Hardin and Major Trueman as 
commissioners to treat for peace with the 
Indians of the Miami towns in Ohio. Pro- 
ceeding upon their mission, they were well re- 
ceived by the first Indians whom they met 
who showed respect for the peace messengers. 
Soon afterwards a party of five Delaware In- 
dians arrived at the camp and Colonel Hardin 
proposed that he and his comrade should visit 


their camp, but the Delawares refused to 
accede to the proposal. They remained in 
the camp during the night and seemed peace- 
able. On the following morning, inquiries 
were made of them as to the country, when 
thev became excited and murdered Colonel 
Hardin. Major Trueman they made pris- 
oner, and on the march to Sandusky, luur- 
dered him also. When the news reached the 
Indian towns of the nuirder of the peace com- 
missioners, much excitement prevailed and the 
perpetrators were censured as it was unusual 
for the Indians to attack those who came to 
talk of iieace. This was poor consolation to 
the families and comrades of the murdered 
men. In the Eastern states there were then 
as now, Pharisees of the "holier-than-thou" 
sect who affected to believe that the western 
people provoked and kept alive Indian aggres- 
sion by cruelties inflicted and outlawry prac- 
ticed, and that the poor Indians "were perse- 
cuted, murdered and outraged beyond all for- 
bearance," and were therefore, justified in re- 
prisals in self-defense. The pulpit and the 
press, together with the demagogue on the 
platform, whom the country has always with 
it, fostered this idea, forgetting how their own 
ancestors had been harried by the savages in- 
the early days of the eastern colonies and how 
they had as ruthlessly slaughtered those sav- 



ages as had the westerners those who made 
their Hves a burden and the lives of their 
wives and children unsafe during every hour 
of the day and night. These people of the 
eastern states it w^as, whose representatives in 
the congress had for so long a time resisted 
the admission of Kentucky into the Union. 
To their minds the Union belonged to the 
saints and never for a moment did they then, 
nor do they now, fail to believe that they were 
and are the saints. 

"President Washington," says Smith, "to 
counteract the pernicious impression which 
possessed the minds of the people of the At- 
lantic states, and also, that the Indians were 
willing to listen to and accept terms of peace 
on just grounds, ordered a treaty council at 
Sandusky, Ohio. In the meantime, all citi- 
zens were forbidden to engage in any hostili- 
ties with the savages, a very painful and hard 
necessity laid on the Kentuckians after the 
many and very recent and distressing barbari- 
ties perpetrated on them." 

The historian Butler considering the condi- 
tions at that time, says : 

"Nor can the necessity of this action of the 
president be appreciated w-ithout attentively 
noticing the deep-rooted prejudice of the 
country at large on the subject of Indian 
atrocities. They showed themselves in the 
debates in congress, and were too much con- 
firmed by the history of the national inter- 
course with the aborigines in general. Sym- 
pathy with the interests of a race of men 
incompatible with the existence of our agri- 
cultural people, seems to have occupied the . 
people east of the mountains when it had no 
longer room to operate against themselves. 
No thought then seemed to exist that the 
same causes of inconsistent states of social 
existence prevailed on the western side of the 
mountains, just as they had presented them- 
selves on the eastern side for the preceding 
century and a half. Our people would gladly 
have abided, for the present, with the terri- 

torial limit of the Ohio. But no territorial 
limit could permanently arrest the ruin of the 
one race, or the progress of the other. The 
decree of their fate was passed by natural 
causes which no human exertions could coun- 

The commissioners announced to the gov- 
ernment at Washington that the Indians re- 
fused to enter into a treaty. The government 
had tendered the olive branch and on its 
rejection had but one recourse. The Indians 
should be taught to fear, if they did not re- 
spect the white man. 

Gen. Anthony Wayne, the "Mad Anthony" 
of the Revolution, the soldierly fires of whose 
nature had not abated with the advancing 
years, had massed his forces at Fort Wash- 
ington and was ordered in October, 1793, to 
move upon the Indians along the Maumee. 
He called upon the governor of Kentucky for 
a detachment of mounted volunteers. So 
deep was the distrust of Kentuckians of the 
capacity of the regular forces, owing to the 
disasters attendant on the recent expeditions 
of Harmar and St. Clair, that there was but 
a feeble response to the call of the governor 
for volunteers. It was the first as it was the 
last time, when Kentuckians failed to respond 
at once to a call to arms. They had no objec- 
tion to warfare ; they rather enjoyed it, but 
they were careful about their military associ- 
ates. They had serious objections to being 
slaughtered to make an Indian holiday. 

Finally, however, General Scott marched at 
the head of a thousand mounted Kentuckians 
to reinforce General Wayne. On the 26th of 
October this force encamped within four 
miles of the headquarters of the army, six 
miles in advance of Fort Jefferson and eighty 
miles from the Ohio river. The w-eather was 
cold, the army not well equipped for a cam- 
paign against savages in the forest, their nat- 
ural battle ground, and General Wayne de- 
cided to suspend his march and build Fort 
Greenville. The regulars went into winter 



quarters and tlie Kentucky troops were dis- 
missed on furlough, returning to their homes 
with a renewed respect for regular troops 
born of the soldierly methods of General 

On the 26th of the following July, General 
Scott, his force increased to 1,600 men, re- 
ported to General Wayne for duty. The lat- 
ter with a force of about the same number of 
regular troops, marched upon the nearest In- 
dian towns with the intention of destroying 
them, but the enemy had fled before he 
reached the junction of the Alaumee and 
Au Glaize rivers where the towns were lo- 
cated. He destroyed the growing crops and 
continued his march down the Maumee to a 
point within seven miles of a new fort re- 
cently constructed by the British and where 
there was reported to be a large force of In- 
dians. Stopping in his march long enough 
to erect Fort Defiance, he then continued his 
advance movement. Soon the officer com- 
manding the advance guard reported the en- 
emy in line of battle within a mile or two of 
the British fort, their left resting upon the 
Maumee river and their right upon the forest 
in the thick undergrowth of which the Indian 
was at home and from which it was not easy 
to dislodge him. 

General Wayne drew up his regulars in two 
lines, their right resting on the Maumee, 
while he sent General Scott with his mounted 
Kentuckians to turn the extreme right of the 
enemy and attack him in the rear. The regu- 
lars advanced and in a bayonet charge drove 
the Indians and the Canadians and other white 
volunteers with them, into a disorderly panic. 
So rapid was their flight that General Scott 
had time to bring into action but a portion of 
his command. The Indians and their white 
allies suflr'ered heavily. One, writing of the 
battle, states that "the woods for two miles 
were strewed with the dead bodies of the red 
men and their white auxiliaries." The Indi- 
ans were in high favor with the British offi- 

cers so long as they were successful in their 
attacks upon the whites, but when the latter 
were successful and drove the Indians back 
the latter lost something of their popularity. 
It was so in this instance, for when the sav- 
ages, flying before the victorious troops of 
Wayne and Scott, arrived at the British fort, 
they were surprised to find it closed against 

General Wayne remained on the battle- 
ground for three days, during which time he 
destroyed the growing crops and all other 
property within his reach, including the house 
and stores of Colonel McKee, the British In- 
dian agent, who bore the ignominy of inciting 
the savages to commit murder and other 
atrocities upon the Americans. 

General Wayne, while his troops were en- 
gaged in this work, was addressed by Major 
Campbell, the commander of the British fort, 
who wished to know "in what light he was to 
view such near approaches, almost in reach 
of the guns of a fort belonging to His 
Majesty, the king of Great Britain." 

General Wayne promptly replied to this 
request for information that "were you en- 
titled to an answer, the most full and satisfac- 
tory was announced to you from the muzzles 
of my small arms yesterday morning, in the 
action against hordes of savages in the vicin- 
ity of your fort, which terminated gloriously 
for the American arms." There were no fur- 
ther requests for information received from 
the fort. 

Following this correspondence, everything 
in view of the fort was destroyed. The com- 
mander had difficulty in restraining the Ken- 
tucky volunteers from a direct attack upon 
the fort. Deprived of this pleasure, they 
tauntingly fired their rifles in the direction of 
the fort, hoping to provoke a response. There 
was a beautiful opportunity for a fight, but 
the commandant of the fort was evidently a 
discreet person and the opportunity was per- 
mitted to pass. 



The decisive victor)' of General Wayne ; the 
failure of the British to come to their aid, and 
the closing of the gates of the fort in their 
faces at the moment of their great peril, broke 
the spirits of the Indians for the time, and 
when they were invited soon afterwards to a 
peace meeting at Greenville they attended and 
a treaty was arranged and signed whereby 
large cessions of land were made to the United 
States and all claims south of the Ohio river 
were given up by the savages. The terms of 
this treaty were observed until the war be- 
tween England and the United States in 1812. 
when the English again incited the Indians to 
renew their warfare upon the Americans. It 
is a gratifying reflection even at this day, 
nearlv one hundred years later, that both the 

English and the Indians paid heavily for this 
violation of a treaty and the rules of civilized 

There were occasional excursions of small 
bodies of Indians from north of the Ohio and 
from Tennessee, the object of which was prin- 
cipally plunder, but with no objection to the 
commission of murder as opportunity pre- 
sented but the whites had now become so 
numerous that swift punishment followed 
these raids and the Indians came far less fre- 
quently into Kentucky than had formerly 
been their wont. Swift and sure punishment 
for of¥enses is a great deterrent of crime, not 
among Indians alone, but among men who are 
civilized and knowing better must be made to 
do better. 


American Love for France— Democratic Societies of Kentucky — Kentucky vs. Spain 
— Washington's Neutrality Proclamation — French-American Expedition under 
Clark — Governor Shelby to the Federal Secretary — Then^ the Presidential 
Proclamation— French .Minister Ignores It — Proposed Capture of New Orleans- 
Genet Recalled — New Orleans Project Abandoned— Democratic Societies Dis- 

So much has been said of the navigation of 
the Mississippi river that the subject has 
probably become as tiresome to the reader as 
it has to the writer. But it was so vital to the 
people of the young state as to enter into the 
consideration of all political questions. He 
would have been a rash Kentuckian who, in 
those days, had expressed a sense of weariness 
at the thought of reading or writing about the 
free navigation of the great river. Kentucky 
was so situated geographically as to be practi- 
cally cut oS from eastern trade and the river 
was the only avenue leading to traffic, the 
selling of her products, the purchase of neces- 
sities. This fact made and could unmake pol- 
iticians. It produced some strange and un- 
looked for complications, reaching far beyond 
the borders of the state, across the deep sea 
and to tlie foot of the throne of France. 

The people of the United States owed and 
proudly recognized a debt to France for the 
assistance given in the darkest days of the 
Revolutionary war. But some of the people 
misled by a too enthusiastic spirit, adopted 
methods of evincing their affection that when 
analyzed, suggested the opposite of what they 
intended. In 1793 there was organized in 
Philadelphia what was known as a "Demo- 

cratic Society," the word Democratic not hav- 
ing the political significance pertaining to the 
politics of today. Broadly stated, the Phila- 
delphia organization might with justice have 
been called the "People's Society." It pro- 
fessed the greatest esteem for France while at 
the same time, perhaps unconsciously, closely 
following the precepts of the clubs of France 
which were sowing widespread the seeds of 
anarchy and ruin throughout that land which 
were to grow in a few years to a red harvest 
of death. These Americans acted from the 
heart, rather than from the brain, and little 
dreamed of the deeds of their whilom 
friends in the near future. They knew that 
they loved France with the same fervor with 
which they hated England. They heard but 
little of the happenings in France save that 
which came from English sources and, with 
one accord, they refused to believe any of this. 
The war with England was scarcely ended 
at this time ; many of those who had won dis- 
tinction in command, had come to Kentucky, 
after the peace, full of gratitude to France and 
equally as full of prejudice against England. 
It is not strange therefore that Democratic 
societies, such as that at Philadelphia, should 
have been organized at Lexington, Paris and 




Georgetown, all after the model of the Jacobin 
clubs of Paris, France. There had been, as 
yet, no outbreak in France ; the right of rev- 
olution was claimed, but there was no hint of 
bloodshed. Fresh from the fields of a suc- 
cessful revolution, it was not to be wondered 
at that these American soldiers should find 
themselves in sympathy with men across the 
seas of like aspirations as their own. These 
men believed in the rights of the states and of 
the people. They were bitter against the Fed- 
eralists who, they feared, were endeavoring 
to set up an aristocracy rather than "a gov- 
ernment of the people, by the people and for 
the people." .Some of them created a preju- 
dice against the president, with whom they had 
starved and suiTered and fought for seven 
years and until the sunlight of liberty had 
shone upon the land. These clubs demanded 
that those rights which they conceived to be 
their own, should be guaranteed by the gov- 

The Lexington Society used no uncertain 
language in its demands. It imperiously re- 
solved "that the right of the people on the 
waters of the Mississippi to the navigation 
thereof was undoubted, and that it ought to 
be peremptorily demanded of Spain by the 
Government of the United States." 

There is something typical of the Kentuck- 
ian in the defiant ring of that resolution, how- 
ever one may decry the judgment embodied 
in its adoption. Contrary to the opinion of 
the misinformed, the Kentuckian does not go 
about with a bowie-knife in his boot-leg and 
a revolver in his belt, breathing forth threat- 
enings and slaughter. He is very peaceful 
until his rights are infringed upon; when that 
occurs, he is ready to resist and to maintain 
those rights in a manly way. 

This Lexington Society justly felt that the 
people of Kentucky had the right to navigate 
the Mississippi river and so believing, they so 
stated and if Spain did not like it, why Spain 
knew what she could do. They were not over 

belligerent ; they merely stood upon what they 
conceived to be their rights and though the 
smoke of recent conflict with England had 
scarcely been dissipated; though the rever- 
berations of hostile cannon seemed scarcely 
to have died away, yet they were ready to 
gird up their loins, take up shield and buckler 
and spear and go forth again to battle, if need 
be to protect and defend that which at the 
expense of so much precious blood they had 
won from the savage. It mattered little to 
them that Spain was allied with England and 
all of Europe, save France, against that latter 
country. So much the better ; the fighting 
would be more beautiful and the final victory 
— of which they had no doubt — would there- 
by be the sweeter. Besides, they would have 
the great river all for their own when the 
fighting was over and they came home again 
to rest under the shadow of their own vines 
and fig-trees. 

Some of the more ardent of the friends of 
France now reminded the government that 
the colonies had promised that government to 
"make war on England whenever that coun- 
try did" and they wanted the contract carried 
out : but Washington was a prudent man, as 
well as a successful soldier, and knew that the 
United States .were in no condition either 
physically or financially, to engage in a war 
with any country at that time. Instead of a 
declaration of war, he issued on April 22, 
1793, the following. 


"Whereas. It appears that a state of war exists 
between Austria, Prussia, Sardinia, Great Britain 
and the United Netherlands on the one part and 
France on the other, and the duty and interests of 
the United States require that they should with sin- 
cerity and good faith adopt and pursue a conduct 
friendly and impartial toward the belligerent powers. 

"I iiave, therefore, thought fit. by these presents 
to declare the disposition of the United States to 
observe the conduct aforesaid toward those powers 
respectively, and to exhort and to warn the citizens 
of the United States carefully to avoid all acts and 



proceedings whatsoever which may in any manner 
tend to contravene such disposition. 

"And I do hereby also make known that whoso- 
ever of the citizens of the United States shall render 
himself liable to punishment or forfeiture under the 
law of nations by committing, aiding or abetting 
hostilities against any of the said powers, or by 
carrying to any of them those articles which are 
deemed contraband by the modern usage of nations, 
will not receive the protection of the United States 
against such punishment or forfeiture; and further, 
that I have given instructions to those officers to 
whom it belongs to cause prosecutions to be insti- 
tuted against all persons who shall, within the cog- 
nizance of the courts of the United States, violate 
the laws of nations with respect to the powers at 
war, or any of them. 

"In testimony whereef. I have caused the seal 
of the United States of America to be affixed to 
these presents and signed the same with my hand. 
Done at the city of Philadelphia, the 22d day of 
April, 1793, and of the independence of the United 
States of America the seventeenth." 

"George Washington." 

The French minister to the United States 
at this time was M. Genet, who about the first 
of November, 1793, sent four persons, named 
Le Chase, Dupeau, Mathurian and Gignoux 
to Kentucky, with the view of enlisting men 
to join in an expedition against New Orleans 
and the Spanish possessions adjacent thereto. 
They carried with them blank commissions to 
be issued to such men as would join in their 
enterprise. The governor was informed by 
the secretary of state of this enterprise and 
"that the special interests of Kentucky would 
be particularly committed by such an attempt, 
as nothing could be more inauspicious to 
them than such a movement at the very mo- 
ment those interests were under negotiation 
between Spain and the United States." The 
above quotation is from Butler, who was, in 
the main, a fair historian of the events of his 

Butler continues as follows: "Such, how- 
ever, was the excitement of the public mind 
on the subject of the Mississippi, added to its 
fevered condition in regard to French politics, 

that too many persons were ready to embrace 
those foreign proposals to embroil the peace 
of the United States. Two of these emis- 
saries had the audacity to address letters to 
the governor, informing him in express terms 
of their intention to join the expedition of the 
Mississippi and requesting to be informed 
whether 'he had positive orders to arrest all 
citizens inclining to our assistance.' To this 
presumptions letter of Dupeau, Governor 
Shelby condescended to reply, in the words 
of the secretary of state, that he had been 
charged to 'take those legal measures neces- 
sary to prevent any such enterprise, to which 
charge I must pay that attention which my 
present situation obliges me.' These foreign 
agents proceeded in their piratical attempt, 
from the bosom of a neutral and friendly 
nation, to raise two thousand men under 
French authority, and to distribute French 
commissions among the citizens of Kentucky ; 
to purchase cannon, powder, boats and what- 
ever was necessary for a formidable expedi- 
tion. In an unguarded moment, these agents, 
intluenced by the same mischievous spirit that 
had undermined the peace and independence 
of so many European states, subordinated the 
exalted patriotism and fidelity of Gen. George 
Rogers Clark and prevailed upon him to take 
command of the expedition as "a Major Gen- 
eral in the armies of France, and Com- 
mander-in-chief of the revolutionary legions 
on the Mississippi.' Under this ominous title 
for an American officer, he issued, under his 
own name, proposals "for volunteers for the 
reduction of the Spanish forts on the Missis- 
sippi, for opening the trade of that river, and 
giving freedom to its inhabitants. All per- 
sons serving on the expedition will be entitled 
to one thousand acres of land ; those who en- 
gage for one year will be entitled to two thou- 
sand : if they serve for three years, or, during 
the present war with France, they will be en- 
titled to three thousand acres of any unappro- 
priated land that may be conquered, the 



officers in proportion as other French troops ; 
all lawful plunder to be equally divided, ac- 
cording to the custom of war; those who 
serve the expedition will have their choice of 
receiving their lands or one dollar per day.' 

"General St. Clair intimated to Governor 
Shelby, early in November, that this commis- 
sion had been given to General Clark. This 
communication was followed by one from 
General Wayne, of January 6, 1794, inclosing 
his orders to Major Winston, commanding 
the United States cavalry in Kentucky, which 

vided they manage their business with 
prudence, whether there is any legal author- 
ity to punish or restrain them, at least, before 
they have actually accomplished it. For, if 
it is lawful for any one citizen of a state to 
leave it, it is equally so for any number of 
them to do it. It is also lawful for them to 
carry any quantity of provisions, arms and 
ammunition. And if the act is lawful in it- 
self, there is nothing but the particular inten- 
tion with which it is done that can possibly 
make it unlawful : but I know of no law 

NATrR.'\L Bridge. Kentucky 

placed that officer and his men under the 
orders of Governor Shelby, and promised that 
'should more force be wanted, it should not 
be withheld notwithstanding our proximity to 
the combined force of hostile Indians.' 

"After the receipt of these letters. Governor 
Shelby addressed the Federal secretary of 
state on the 13th of January, 1794, and after 
acknowledging receipt of the information in 
regard to Clark and the French emissaries, 
proceeded as follows : 'I have grave doubts, 
even if General Clark and the Frenchmen at- 
tempt to carry this plan into execution, pro- 

which inflicts a punishment on intention only, 
or any criterion by which to decide what 
would be sufficient evidence of that intention 
even if it were a proper subject of legal cen- 
sure.' " 

This communication, precluding any effect- 
ual interposition on the part of the governor 
of Kentucky, the president of the United 
States issued his proclamation on the 22d of 
April, apprising the people of the west of the 
unlawful project and warning them of the 
consequence of engag^ing in it. About the 
same time General Wavne was ordered to es- 



tablish a strong military post at Fort Massac 
on the lower Ohio and to prevent by force, if 
necessary, the descent of any hostile party 
down that river. 

Governor Shelby sympathized with the peo- 
ple of Kentucky in the matter of the navigation 
of the Mississippi, but was not inclined to as- 
sert the authority of the state against the fed- 
eral government, though his political opponents 
charged that he was conspiring with the 
French party. In January he addressed the 
secretary of state as follows: "Much less 
would I assume a power to exercise it against 
Frenchmen, whom I consider friends and 
brothers, in favor of the Spaniard whom I 
view as an enemy and tyrant. I shall also 
feel but little inclination to take an active part 
in punishing or restraining any of my fellow- 
citizens for a supposed intention only, to grat- 
ify the fears of the minister of a prince who 
openly withholds from us an invaluable right ; 
or one who secretly instigates against us a 
most savage and cruel enemy. Yet, whatever 
I may be my private opinion as a man, a friend 
to liberty, an American citizen and an inhabi- 
tant of the western waters, I shall at all times 
hold it as my duty to perfomi whatever may 
be constitutionally required of me as governor 
of Kentucky by the president of the United 

The secretary' of state replied to Governor 
Shelby stating that negotiations with the 
Spanish government had been under consid- 
eration since December, 1 791, but were de- 
layed by the unsettled condition of affairs in 

In the spring of 1793 Genet, the minister of 
the French Republic, landed at Charleston and 
was received with such demonstrative enthu- 
siasm as to have carried him beyond all dis- 
cretion. He made a progress through the 
country to New York, the demonstration at 
Charleston being repeated in each of the 
states through which he passed. This excited 
Frenchman was so elated by his reception that 

he entirely ignored the neutrality proclamation 
of the president, hitherto given, and which 
now appears for the first time in a history of 
Kentucky. He anned and equipped priva- 
teers to prey upon the commerce of England 
and Spain, and enlisted crews for these vessels 
in American ports as though he were in his 
native land. Men were enlisted openly by 
agents of the French government ; veterans of 
the late war were commissioned to lead them 
and in Kentucky especially, there was no lack 
of volunteers. The seven long years of the 
Revolutionary struggle had closed with nearly 
every man a soldier; those who had not met 
the English armies in the field had learned 
the arts of war in the struggles against the 
savage enemy. There is an attraction in war 
for men of spirit and once a soldier, always a 
soldier, may be accepted as almost a truism. 
Especially was this true at that time in Ken- 
tucky ; indeed it is true today as was shown 
in the late war with Spain, when the men 
who had served in the \\^ar Between the 
States were the first to offer their services to 
the government. None were more disap- 
pointed than the \eterans of the Union and 
Confederate armies who were rejected be- 
cause of their advanced age. 

It was proposed by the French agents to 
organize and equip in Kentucky a force of 
2,000 men and with them man a fleet which 
should float down the Ohio and Mississippi 
rivers and capture New Orleans, the capital of 
the Spanish possessions in America. There 
was no lack of fighting men in Kentucky at 
that time as there has been no lack at any 
time, and a descent upon New Orleans was 
apparently a matter of the near future. But 
there was to come a check upon these warlike 
preparations. Meetings were held through- 
out the state at which there were adopted res- 
olutions of hostility to the administration of 
General Washington, and there was something 
more than a hint at separation from the 
l^nion. The people of that day should not 



be too harshly judged by those of the pres- 
ent. They feh themselves neglected by those 
in authority ; they were orphans with none to 
care for them and it is in keeping with the 
spirit of the people that from the days of 
Daniel Boone to the present moment, they 
have proposed to take care of themselves and 
have done so. They needed the free access to 
markets which was at that time afforded by 
the Mississippi river alone. If the federal 
government would not secure it for them, they 
proposed to secure it themselves. 

It may be that strange new chapters in his- 
tory would have been written had that flotilla 
and its two thousand Kentuckians passed 
down the two great rivers to New Orleans. 
But this was not to be. Genet had overshot 
the mark. Vainly imagining himself as pow- 
erful in the United States as he would have 
been in the Jacobin clubs of France ; carried 
away by the mad fury of the French Revolu- 
tionists, he forgot his high station as the repre- 
sentative of his country to a friendly but 
neutral government, and defied the authority 
of that government and the solemn proclama- 
tion of its representative head. There could 
be but one result ; — his immediate recall at the 
instance of the American government which 
he had insulted by ignoring its laws and the 
proclamation of its president. With Genet re- 
called as minister, his commissions were of 
no value ; especially, as all of his acts were dis- 
avowed by the French government. 

The movement against New Orleans was 
abandoned at once, and the French agents 
who had fostered the movement in Kentucky 
gave over their task. One of them, La Chaise, 
on May 14th, said to the Lexington Club: 
"That unforeseen events had stopped the 
march of 2,000 brave Kentuckians to go by 
the strength of their arms and take from the 
Spaniards the empire of the Mississippi, in- 

sure to their country the navigation of it, 
break the chains of the Americans and their 
brethren, the French, and lay the foundations 
of the prosperity and happiness of two great 
nations, destined by nature to be one." 

Little did this flamboyant Frenchman re- 
alize that this "Empire of the Mississippi" was 
soon to pass into the control of his own coun- 
try and finally into that of the United States, 
adding an empire thereto for the paltry sum 
of fifteen million dollars. There are ro- 
mances in history superior to any that the 
greatest novelist has conceived. The Louis- 
iana Purchase by Jefl^erson outside the bounds 
of the constitution though it may have been, 
as some have claimed, and that of Alaska by 
Seward, are great epics in the grand song of 
empire which has been a part of the histon,' of 
our unparallelled country. The God of Na- 
tions seems to have watched over us, protected 
us. and led us forward in the march of the 
universe until the Union has become "the 
greatest among ten thousand" and altogether 

There was no longer an opportunity for an 
advance upon the Spanish posts along the 
lower Mississippi, and the Democratic Socie- 
ties were dissolved there being no longer rea- 
son for their existence. It is difficult at this 
day, to fully understand the intensity of feel- 
ing which characterized the Kentuckians of 
that day. They were terribly in earnest, of 
that there is no doubt. The Ohio and the 
Mississippi today flow unvexed to the sea. 
Perhaps if there were obstacles now as there 
were in those earlier days, we, the descendants 
of those pioneer fathers, would be as ready 
as they to fight for what we deemed our 
rights. Happily there is no call to arms now 
and the most serious questions Kentuckians 
have to solve are settled at the peaceful ballot 
box. Thus may it ever be. 


The Creation of Col'xties — Period of Needed REcriMiRAxiox — Spain Again Checkmated 
— Offers Rejected Too Tamely — Sebastian, Only, Under Suspicion — "Spanish Con- 
spiracy" Analyzed. 

Those gentlemen holding official positions 
as state officers today may be interested in 
knowing the salaries that were originally paid 
to their predecessors. Certainly the taxpay- 
ers will be interested. The governor was 
paid $i,ooo per annum. This would scarcely 
pay the traveling expenses of the governor of 
today, who travels to many points as the 
"orator of the day." The appellate judges 
received $666 per annum ; the secretary of 
state, the auditor, the treasurer, and the attor- 
ney general, received $333, each. It is inter- 
esting to consider the probable number of 
aspirants for these several positions today at 
the rate of compensation above stated. It 
happens that there were patriots in those 

There were forty-two representatives in the 
general assembly, representing the various 
counties as follows : Bourbon, five ; Clark, 
two ; Fayette, six ; Green, one ; Hardin, one ; 
Harrison, one ; Jefferson, two ; Logan, one ; 
Lincoln, three ; Mercer, three ; Madison, three. 
Mason, three ; Nelson, three ; Shelby, one ; 
Scott, two ; Washington, two, and Woodford, 

It will be seen that the number of counties 
had increased to seventeen at this time and 
from that date forward there has been a 
steady increase until there are now one hun- 
dred and nineteen counties in the state, a 
number not likely to be increased if the neces- 
sities of the commonwealth are considered. 
There was at one time a tendency towards the 

creation of new counties, without there being 
shown a real necessity therefor. It was 
deemed good politics when a bill for the erec- 
tion of a new county was introduced to name 
it for the then governor, and to give to the 
county site the name of the lieutenant gov- 
ernor. This plan was a shrewd one, since the 
general assembly was, as a rule, in political 
accord with the administration. 

As an illustration, the county of Knott may 
be mentioned. It was created while that ad- 
mirable and genial statesman, J. Proctor 
Knott, was governor of Kentucky. Its chief 
town was named Hindman, in honor of that 
accomplished gentleman, James A. Hindman, 
who was at that time liuetenant governor of 
Kentucky. No happier selections could have 
been made. Governor Knott had won high 
honor in the congress of the United States as 
chairman of the judiciary committee and was 
recognized throughout the Union as one of its 
foremost statesmen. James A. Hindman had 
served in the Union army as captain of artil- 
lery, and many times as the representative of 
his county in the general assembly. He was 
a citizen of whom any constituency might be 
proud, and one of his lesser distinctions was 
that he defeated the writer of these words for 
the nomination for lieutenant governor, be- 
cause the element that then controlled the 
politics of Kentucky had concluded that the 
time had arrived when a man who had served 
in the L^nion army ought to be placed on the 




Reference has already been made to the 
treaty with the Indians made at Greenville, 
Ohio, in 1/95, which put an end to future in- 
vasions of Kentucky by the savages from the 
north. In 1796, a like treaty was made with 
the southern Indians, and thenceforth the 
state was free from savage incursions. 

Butler, the historian of peace rather than 
of war, says of this period: "These pacific 
measures, so important to the prosperity of 
the one party, and the existence of the other, 
were most essentially promoted by the British 
treaty concluded on the 19th of November, 
1794, and the equally important treaty with 
Spain agreed to on the 17th of October, 1795. 
In regard to the British treaty which con- 
vulsed this country more than any other 
measure since the Revolution, and which re- 
quired all the weight of Washington's great 
and beloved name to give it the force of law, 
no section of the country was more deeply 
interested than Kentucky ; yet, perhaps, in no 
section of the Union was it more obnoxious. 
Its whole contents encountered the strong pre- 
possession of the Whigs against everything 
British ; and this feeling seems to have pre- 
vailed among the people of the southern 
states, possibly from more intense sufferings 
in the Revolutionary war, than in any other 
portion of the Union, on account of their 
sympathies with France. Yet now, when the 
passions which agitated the country so deeply 
and spread the roots of party so widely, have 
subsided, the award of sober history must be, 
that the British treaty was dictated by the 
soundest interests of this young and growing 
country. What else saved our infant institu- 
tions from the dangerous ordeal of war? 
What restored the western posts, the pledges 
of western tranquility, but this much abused 
convention? The military establishments of 
the British upon the western frontier were to 
be surrendered before the ist of June, 1795. 
Further than this, Kentucky was not particu- 
larly interested, but it is due to the reputation 

of the immortal Father of his Country and 
the statesmen of Kentucky who supported his 
administration in this obnoxious measure, to 
mention that Mr. Jay informed the president 
in a private letter, 'that to do more was im- 
possible, further concessions on the part of 
England could not be obtained.' Fortunate 
was it for the new Union and young institu- 
tions of the infant republic that they were al- 
lowed by this treaty time to obtain root and 
to fortify themselves in the national sym- 
pathies and confidence." 

Spain had long dreamed of a western em- 
pire under her domination. Through Gar- 
doqui and Wilkinson she had made abortive 
efforts to win Kentucky to her schemes, yet 
she w-as still hopeful. The Spain of that day 
was not the weak and powerless Spain of to- 
day. That country was then so powerful as 
to be reckoned with by the other powers of 
Europe ; today, there are none to do her rev- 
erence. Then she used all the arts of diplom- 
acv to gain "the dominion and control of the 
great Mississippi valley, and consequently the 
navigation of the great artery of commerce 
which flowed through its center and led to the 
ocean. Entranced by the grandeur and glory 
of this promise to the eye, they could not con- 
sent to abandon the hope of its realization." 

While negotiations were pending between 
the Spanish court and the United States, they 
were compelled to wait upon the affairs of the 
former government which was in danger of 
being involved in the "maelstrom of war 
which was devastating the central nations of 
Europe." Here was the newest of nations, 
the young giant of the west, compelled to 
wait upon the developments of a game of war 
played upon the chess-board of Europe, upon 
which the giant could not move even a pawn. 
Finally in June, 1795, the president took a 
hand in the game and sent Thomas Pinckney 
to Madrid to negotiate a treaty. Of this em- 
bassy. Smith in his history, says: "By the 
end of October, terms mutually satisfactory 



were agreed upon wliich acknowledged our 
southern limits to the north of the thirty-first 
degree of latitude, and our western to the 
middle of the Mississippi. Our right of the 
navigation of the Mississippi to the sea was 
conceded, and also the right of deposit at New 
Orleans for our produce for three years." 

But the Spanish government was not hon- 
est in thus agreeing to the points involved 
which had for a long series of months dis- 
turbed the people of Kentucky. On the face 
of the negotiations, it had been honest ; be- 
neath the surface there was duplicity and dis- 
honesty characteristic of the foreign diplo- 
macy of that day. 

Again Butler is turned to for a statement 
of conditions in Kentucky at that time and 
the shadowy scheming of the Spanish author- 
ities, regardless of the treaty negotiated with 
Pinckney. He says: "In July, 1795, Gov- 
ernor Carondelet dispatched Thomas Power to 
Kentuck)' with a letter to Benjamin Sebas- 
tian, then a judge of our court of appeals. 
In this communication he declares that 'the 
confidence reposed in you by my predecessor, 
General Miro, and your former correspond- 
ence, have induced me to make a communi- 
cation to you highly interesting to the coun- 
try in which you live and to Louisiana.' He 
then mentions that the king of Spain was 
willing to open the navigation of the Missis- 
sippi to the western country and desirous to 
establish certain regulations, reciprocally ben- 
eficial to the commerce of both countries. 
To eft'ect these objects. Judge Sebastian was 
expected, the governor says, 'to procure 
agents to be chosen and fully empowered by 
the people of your country to negotiate with 
Colonel Gayosa on the subject at New Ma- 
drid, whom I shall send there in October next, 
properly authorized for the purpose, with 
directions to continue at the place or its vicin- 
ity until the arrival of your agents.' Some 
time in November, or early in December of 
this year, Judge Innes and William Murray 

received a letter from Judge Sebastian re- 
questing them to meet him at Colonel Nicho- 
las' house in Mercer county. The gentlemen 
addressed went as desired, to Colonel 
Nicholas' house and met Judge Sebastian 
there, who submitted the letter quoted above. 
Some deliberation ensued which resulted in 
the unanimous opinion of all the gentlemen 
assembled that Judge Sebastian should meet 
Colonel Gayoso, to ascertain the real views 
of the Spanish government in these overtures. 
The judge accordingly descended the Ohio 
and met the Spanish agent at the mouth of 
the river. In consequence of the severity of 
the weather, the gentlemen agreed to go to 
New Madrid. Here a commercial agreement 
was partially approved by Sebastian, but a 
difference of opinion occurring betw^een the 
negotiators whether any imposts, instead of 
a duty of four per cent, should be exacted 
upon imports into New Orleans by way of the 
river, the negotiators repaired to the metrop- 
olis, in order to submit the difference of opin- 
ion to the governor. This officer, upon learn- 
ing the nature of the difference between the 
gentlemen acting in this most insidious nego- 
tiation, readily consented to gratify the Ken- 
tucky envoy. It was deferred on account of 
some pressing business. A few days after 
this interview, the Spanish governor sent for 
Judge Sebastian and informed him that a 
courier had arrived from Havana with the in- 
telligence that a treaty had been signed be- 
tween the United States and Spain, which put 
an end to the business between them. Judge 
Sebastian, after vainly urging the Spanish 
governor to close this sub-negotiation, in the 
expectation that the treaty would not be rat- 
ified, returned to Kentucky by the Atlantic 

Several reflections necessarily arise out of 
this summary of the negotiations of 1795, 
which were preserved secret from the govern- 
ment of Kentucky until voluntarily disclosed 
by ludge Innes in 1806 before a committee of 



the legislature. The first remark that sug- 
gests itself on the face of these documents is, 
that Judge Sebastian had been connected 
with the Spanish government before this 
time, since Governor Caronclelet refers to the 
confidence reposed in him by his predecessor. 
To what extent and how long, no information 
exists within the command of the author, al- 
though he has attempted to investigate the 
earliest ramifications of a plot now only in- 
teresting for its historical curiosity. This 
negotiation, though terminated so abruptly 
by Carondelet, contrary to the urgent repre- 
sentations of Sebastian, was again renewed 
by the former officer in 1797, while the terri- 
torial line was marking between the United 
States and Spain on the south. It was again 
afifected through the agency of Messrs. Power 
and Sebastian, and in a way to endanger the 
Union and peace of these states more fla- 
grantly and openly than on the former more 
covert attempt." 

In the sunmier of 1797. Thomas Power 
again arrived at Louisville as the agent of the 
Spanish governor of Louisiana and immedi- 
ately communicated a letter to Sebastian desir- 
ing him to lay his proposals before Messrs. 
Innes, Nicholas and Murray. These proposals 
were no less than to withdraw from the Federal 
Union and to form a government wholly un- 
connected with that of the Atlantic states. 
To aid these nefarious purposes, in the face of 
a solemn treaty recently negotiated, and to 
compensate those who should consign them- 
selves to infamy by assisting a foreign power 
to dissolve the American Union, and to con- 
vert its free republican states into dependen- 
cies upon the arbitrary and jealous govern- 
ment of Spain, orders for one, or even two 
hundred thousand dollars on the royal treas- 
ury in New- Orleans were oiifered ; or, if more 
convenient, these sums were to be conveyed, 
at the expense of His Catholic Majesty, into 
this country, and held at the disposal of those 
who should degrade themselves into Spanish 

conspirators. Fort Massac was pointed out 
as an object proper to be seized at the first 
declaration of independence, and the troops of 
the new government, it was promised, should 
be furnished without loss of time, with twenty 
field pieces with their carriages and every 
necessary appendage, including powder, balls 
and other munitions, together with a number 
of small arms sufficient to equip the troops 
which it should be deemed expedient to raise. 
The compensation for these free offers of 
money and arms, independent of weakening 
the United States, was to be obtained in the 
extension of the northern boundary of the 
possessions to which Spain had so tenaciously 
clung and which she now so desperately and 
for the last time, endeavored so treacherously 
to retain. The northern boundary, on this side 
of the Mississippi, was to be the Yazoo river, 
as established by the British government when 
in possession of Florida, and which was, by a 
secret article in the treaty of peace, retained 
as the boundary between the LInited States and 
Florida, should Great Britain recover it from 
Spain. Eager, indeed, must Spain have been, 
to obtain tlii> insignificant addition to her 
boundary, when she could break in upon her 
jealous exclusion of foreigners from her 
.American possessions and promise the Ken- 
tuckians, if they would declare themselves in- 
dependent of the Federal government and 
establish one of their own, to grant them 
privileges far more extensive ; give them a 
decided preference over the Atlantic states in 
her commercial connections with them, and 
place them in a situation infinitely more advan- 
tageous in every point of view than that in 
which they would find themselves were the 
treaty of 1795 to be carried into effect. Such 
were the powerful temptations presented by 
the Spanish government of Louisiana to some 
of the leading men of Kentucky, in order to 
reduce them into a dependency of Spain. 

These oiTers were entertained too gravely 
and rejected with too much tameness for the 



honor of Kentucky patriotism, as will appear 
from the following- detail given by Judge 
Innes to the legislative committee previously 
Imentioned : "After receiving the above com- 
Imunications from Power, Sebastian visited 
[Judge Innes at his seat near Frankport and 
I laid them before him. The judge immediately 
[observed that it was a dangerous project and 
[ought not to be countenanced. As the west- 
[ern people had now obtained the navigation 
lof the Mississippi by which all their wishes 
Iwere gratified. Sebastian concurred in this 
sentiment, after, it must be observed, this ex- 
plicit declaration of Judge Innes, who seems 
to have given tone to the whole transaction. 
Still, as Power desired an answer in writing, 
Sebastian prevailed on Innes to see Colonel 
Nicholas, saying that whatever they did he 
would concur in. In a few days afterwards. 
Colonel Nicholas was seen by the judge at 
Lexington, who agreed in opinion with Innes 
that the proposal ought to be rejected. The 
Colonel accordingly wrote an answer to Pow- 
er's proposals, which unequivocally declared 
they would not be concerned in any attempt 
to separate the western country from the 
United States ; that whatever part they might 
at any time be induced to take in the politics 
of their country, that her welfare would be the 
only inducement and that they would never 
receive any pecuniary or other reward for any 
personal exertions made by them to promote 
that welfare. They added that they flattered 
themselves that everything concerning the 
important business of the navigation of the 
Mississippi would be set right by the govern- 
ments of the two nations; but, if this should 
not be the case, it appeared to them that it 
must be the policy of Spain to encourage by 
every possible means free intercourse with 
the inliabitants of the western country, as 
this will be the most efficient means to con- 
ciliate their good will, and to obtain, without 
hazard, and at reduced prices, those supplies 
which are indispensably necessary to the Span- 

ish government and its subjects. This reply 
was forwarded to Sebastian and communi- 
cated by him to Mr. Power. 

This transaction must be pronounced a 
dangerous tampering with a foreign power 
and contrary to the allegiance of American 
citizens. Yet the whole tenor of the conduct 
of Messrs. Innes and Nicholas cannot justify 
the slightest suspicion of their fidelity to the 
Union of the American states or indiflference 
to their liberties. Their character as faith- 
ful, devoted friends to the freedom and hap- 
piness of their country had always stood 
high and unimpaired in the confidence of 
their fellow citizens. It is likewise due to the 
virtues of Judge Innes to declare that in all 
the relations of private life, no man was 
dearer or more idolized by the witnesses of 
his mild, upright and benevolent character. 
His public career in this country, amid its 
earliest difficulties, had always been one of 
high trust and confidence under all the changes 
of government ; he had early been appointed 
judge of the Virginia district court ; the attor- 
ney general ; judge of the United States dis- 
trict court for Kentucky, a member of the 
board of war for the western country and 
president of our first College of Electors. In 
all these responsible capacities, the conduct of 
Judge Innes was without reproach and raised 
him most deservedly high in the public esteem. 
He received the repeated thanks of General 
Washington for the discharge of high trusts. 
Colonel Nicholas has left the reputation of an 
exalted and patriotic statesman. In the con- 
vention of Virginia assembled to decide upon 
the ratification of the constitution of the 
United States, he took a prominent and influ- 
ential part, alongside of such illustrious wor- 
thies as Wythe, Madison and Governor Ran- 
dolph. In the opposition to the administra- 
tion of the elder Adams he bore an ardent 
share, as exhibited in his celebrated letter to 
a Virginia friend on the Alien law. 

In regard to Sebastian, the other agent in 



this unhappy business, much more is known 
of his abilities, commanding address and 
most courteous, dignified manners, than of 
his devotion to popular government. He had, 
however, received a judgeship in the court of 
appeals at its organization in 1792. The most 
probable construction of this conference 
seems to be that Sebastian was the corrupt 
instrument of Governor Carondelet and that 
he permitted his acknowledged abilities and 
intimacy with Judge Innes, to swerve him 
from the direct and open path of public duty 
by listening to proposals from a foreign gov- 
ernment, at once derogatory to his duty as a 
public officer of the laws and his honor as a 
faithful citizen. 

In the Spanish conspiracy there are three 
stages and corresponding degrees of condem- 
nation. The first existed in 1787. when Gar- 
doqui communicated his overtures to the 
people of Kentucky, to establish a govern- 
ment independent of the rest of the confed- 
eracy ; this, under the ominous and disgrace- 
ful condition of the existing government, 
might have been laudably entertained by Ken- 
tucky patriots. The second happened in 1795 
under circumstances of accimiulated trial and 
disappointment to the fondest and most in- 
dispensable hopes of western prosperity ; at 
this time the Spanish propositions, whatever 
ultimate views were concealed under them, 
only aimed at an irregular, and, so far, un- 
justifiable agreement of private citizens with 
a foreign government for the regulation of 
western trade. This proposal, if it had been 
consummated, would, however, have amount- 
ed to superseding the regular operations of 

the general government in the western com- 
merce and would have granted exclusive 
commercial favors to the parties to this agree- 
ment, inconsistent with the equal constitu- 
tional rights of the citizens of a common coun- 
try. It would, moreover, have been indicative 
of a foreign influence, dangerous to the liberty 
and peace of the Nation. But the third stage 
of this business, after ten years of interrupted 
communications, was the most indefensible of 
all, it was a treacherous and undisguised at- 
tempt of Spain to dissever this country, in the 
face of her recent treaty, and inconsistent with 
everything like the good faith which is repre- 
sented as a characteristic of Castilian honor. 
This intrigue of the provincial authorities in 
Spanish Louisiana is, no doubt, to be traced to 
European politics. 

But time, at last, makes all things even, the 
epigrammatic philosophers have told us. 
Spain failed to corrupt the people of an entire 
state, whatever may have been her success 
with a few men of prominence. She saw 
Louisiana and the Floridas pass from her con- 
trol to the French and ultimately to that of 
the United States, the government of which 
she had sought to disrupt with the power of 
corrupting gold. In after years she saw the 
same United States drive her from Cuba, 
Porto Rico and the Philippines, her richest 
and almost her only colonial possessions. She 
learned that "the mills of the gods grind 
slowly, yet they grind exceeding small." 
Upon the possessions of the United States to- 
day the sun is ever shining somewhere, while 
Spain, no longer a world power, is left in 
doubt if it have any power whatever. 


U. S. Senator Marshall — Attempt to Discipline Judges — Garrard Succeeds Shelby 

Bitter Adams-Jefferson Campaign— Litigation Over Land Titles Injustice 


In 1795 Humphrey Marshall, statesman 
and historian, a near kinsman of that great 
chief justice, John Marshall, who, for so many 
years, presided with distinction over the su- 
preme court of the United States, was elected 
a senator in congress from Kentucky, defeat- 
ing John Breckinridge, who was later to dis- 
tinguish himself as the author of the Ken- 
tucky Resolutions of 1798. 

Marshall was the leader of the Federalists 
in Kentucky, who favored a strong centralized 
government as against a government of the 
people. Mr. Breckinridge was the leader of 
the Republicans in Kentucky, those who, at a 
later date, were to be known as Democrats, 
reference to which has been elsewhere made 
in this work. Those excellent gentlemen of 
today who boast of their enmity to the Repub- 
lican party, would probably reject with scorn 
the statement that in the earlier days of our 
government their forefathers were very proud 
to be known as Republicans and to be led by 
such a statesman as John Breckinridge. The 
latter, had favored the adoption of the treaty 
with England, which e.xcited the enmity of 
manv against him and led to the election of 
Mr. 'Alarshall. 

The people of Kentucky at this time, were 
to be excited by an incident, the first of its 
kind in the history of the young state. This 
was an attempt, by the general assembly, to 
remove from the court of appeals. Judges 
George Muter and Benjamin Sebastian. This 

action grew out of a decision of the court in 

which the old pioneer, Simon Kenton, was in- 
terested. That decision opened the way for 
endless litigation and threatened not only the 
title of Kenton to his lands, but the titles of 
many others. There was much excitement 
among the people, which culminated in the 
presentation of a memorial to the legislature 
which brought the matter before that body 
for consideration. Judges Muter and Sebas- 
tian were summoned to appear before the 
house, a copy of the memorial accompanying 
each summons. Judge Wallace, the remain- 
ing judge of the court, was not summoned as 
he had dissented from the views of Muter and 
Sebastian. These latter answered the sum- 
mons of the house by a demand to be pro- 
ceeded against in the manner provided by the 
constitution, stating their readiness, in that 
event, to answer any specific charge that might 
be made against them. 

Smith in his "History of Kentucky,'" quot- 
ing Butler and iVIarshall, summarizes the con- 
ditions as follows : "The house interjjreted 
this answer into a refusal to appear before it 
and proceeded to act upon a resolution that 
the opinion and decree are subversive of the 
plainest principles of law and justice and in- 
volve in their consequences the distress and 
ruin of many of our innocent and meritorious 
citizens. The resolution then goes on to al- 
lege that the judges have decided either from 
undue influence or want of judgment ; as said 
decree and opinion contravene the decisions of 
the court of commissioners, who were author- 




ized to adjust under the \'irginia land act of 
1/79. ^nd also contradict a former decision 
of the supreme court for the district of Ken- 
tucky on a similar point : — whence arises a 
well-grounded apprehension that the said 
George Muter and Benjamin Sebastian are al- 
together destitute of that judgment, integrity 
and firmness which are essential in every 
judge, but more especially to judges of the 
supreme court; and that there is no security 
for property so long as the said George Muter 
and Benjamin Sebastian continue as judges 
of the court of appeals. The house, then, in 
consequence of these recitals and its power 
to address the governor to remove any judge 
for any reasonable cause, which should not 
be sufficient ground for impeachment, deter- 
mined by a majority of three votes, that this 
address ought to be made. The subject, how- 
ever, was resumed in the senate and a resolu- 
tion was reported, censuring the judges for a 
decision which, the resolution asserted, pro- 
ceeded from a w^ant of proper knowledge of 
the law, or some impure motives that appear 
to discover a w^ant of integrity. This resolu- 
tion was adopted by a majority of one vote. 

This result was reported to the other house 
for action, though the resolution had really 
failed, for want of the two-thirds majority re- 
quired by the constitution. In the house, it 
was adopted by the majority as had been the 
original resolution presented therein. Xo ac- 
tion by the governor appears to have been 
taken, but at a subsequent term of the court. 
Judge Muter reversed himself and joined in the 
opinion of Judge Wallace, but Sebastian ad- 
hered to his first opinion. Pending the heated 
discussion of this important question, George 
Nicholas, of counsel for the defendant, 
O'Connell, was alleged to have an undue in- 
fluence over the court, a charge that has been 
heard in other courts of the state since that 
day and involving the names of attorneys de- 
voting themselves to the defense of persons 
indicted for criminal offenses. Muter and 

Sebastian remained on the bench for the time 
being, but Sebastian was later to leave it un- 
der conditions that could not be pleasing to a 
man of acute sensibilities, the details of 
which will be noted hereafter. 

The close of the term of Isaac Shelby as 
governor was approaching and Gen. Benjamin 
Logan and James Garrard, both of the Repub- 
lican or Democratic party, were candidates to 
succeed him, the Federalists appearing not to 
have oflfered a candidate. Garrard was suc- 
cessful by a small majority notwithstanding 
the great services Logan had rendered the 
people in the early conflicts with the Indians. 
Governor Garrard assumed the duties of the 
office in 1796 and named for secretary of state, 
Harry Toulmin, an accomplished gentleman 
of English birth, who had, at one time, been 
a minister of the Unitarian church. This ap- 
pointment was acceptable to the people on ac- 
count of the acknowledged ability of Mr. 
Toulmin, which subsequently led to his ap- 
pointment by the president as judge of the 
United States court for the district of Ala- 

General Washington, after eight years in 
the presidency, was now about to retire to the 
peace of Mount \'ernon, there to rest as he 
had stated "in the shadow of his own vine 
and fig-tree." The Federalists named John 
Adams, the vice president, to succeed him; 
the Republicans selected as their candidate 
Thomas Jefferson, the secretary of state. A 
generous minded historian of that period has 
written of the contest as follows : "Honored 
and embalmed as these great and patriotic 
statesmen now are in the memories of the peo- 
ple of today, we find it difficult to realize that 
the presidential contest waged between the ad- 
herents on either side was as remorseless, in- 
temperate and embittered as was that between 
the adherents of Cleveland and Blaine in our 
own time. The truth of history thus forms a 
commentary of rebuke upon the uncharitable 
injustice and unkindness with which the char- 



acters of the most eminent and wortliy men 
are assailed by partisan spirit, and, at the same 
time, affords grateful assurance that when 
time shall have dissipated the prejudices of 
the partisan, the virtues and nobler deeds of 
the great shall live to be honored, not only in 
the urn of memory, but in the holier consecra- 
tion of affection as well." 

Adams was elected president by a majority 
of three votes in the electoral college, and 
Jefferson, having received the next highest 
vote, became vice president by virtue of the 
constitution as it then existed. It is interest- 
ing to consider the conditions that would have 
been presented in the recent past had there 
been no change in the constitutional provision 
in this respect. For instance, in 1896, Wil- 
liam McKinley would have been elected pres- 
ident and William Jennings Bryan, vice presi- 
dent. There would have been stirring happen- 
ings then, or soon afterward. Happily the 
constitution had been changed. 

At about this time there began a litigation 
over land titles in Kentucky, which, strangely 
enough, has continued in some form, to the 
present time. The Federal government, never 
having a disposable interest in Kentucky 
lands, made no survey thereof. It has been 
claimed by some, but without good reasons for 
the claim, that George Washington made sur- 
veys for private parties in the district of Ken- 
tucky. As is stated elsewhere in this work, 
that claim is not believed to be tenable. How- 
ever that may be, it is true that \'irginia made 
no provision for a survey. Surveyors came 
from \'irginia and so long as they could es- 
cape attention from hostile savages, made sur- 
veys wherever their inclinations took them. 
One of these surveyors less lucky than 
others of his calling, was Hancock Taylor, 
a member of the numerous and somewhat 
important Taylor family of \'irginia, to 
which belonged Gen. Zachary Taylor, presi- 
dent of the United States, whose remains 
rest in Jefferson count}' near Louisville. 

Hancock Taylor, his kinsman, was killed 
by the Indians while engaged in making 
a survey of Kentucky lands. In the haphaz- 
ard methods of surveying many claims over- 
lapped each other, thus bringing about litiga- 
tion which often lead to expenditures greater 
than the value of the lands in controversy. 
It is not uncommon at this time to read in the 
newspapers of suits being filed for the recov- 
ery of timber and coal lands in the mountains 
of Kentucky, such suits being based upon real 
or alleged surveys purporting to have been 
ma;de more than one hundred years ago. As 
the lands at issue have been in the most part, 
in peaceable possession of their present occu- 
pants or holders for many years, the courts, 
in the main, have decided these suits adversely 
to those claiming under these old grants, or 
surveys, and in favor of the present holders. 
John Rowan, a great land lawyer of Kentucky, 
said that "the territory of Kentucky was en- 
cumbered and cursed with a triple layer of ad- 
verse claims." Thus the man who believed 
that he held a valid title to the bit of ground 
he and his fellow pioneers had wrested from 
the Indians who claimed it as their hunting 
ground ; the ground on which he had grown 
crops for the sustenance of his family ; the 
ground in which perhaps he had buried some 
of that family — the victim of savage ferocity 
— this man had no assurance that some claim- 
ant who had never seen Kentucky, who had 
never risked his life in defense of his home 
and family, would not lay claim to his home 
and through the operations of the laws force 
him from its possession. 

As has been stated by one writing of that 
period: "Under the laws and rulings of the 
courts, not only might the bona fide occupant 
who cleared the ground, erected houses, built 
barns, planted orchards and made fields and 
meadows, be evicted from his premises and di- 
vested of his title ; but the new and foreign 
claimant was allowed to take possession and 
use of all improvements, without compensa- 



tioii, and to demand of him rent for the use 
of the land for the time of occupancy. Against 
this palpable injustice the common sentiment 
of the people protested in tones that demanded 

It was a time when the "land lawyers," as 
certain attorneys were called in those days, 
"waxed fat and kicked," not, until the legis- 
lature taking cognizance of this great injus- 
tice to the suffering people, enacted a law to 
the effect "that the occupant of the land from 
which he is evicted or deprived by better title, 
shall be excused from payment of rents and 
profits' accrued prior to the actual notice of 
the adverse claim ; provided, his possession 
was peaceful and he shows a plain and con- 
nected title in law or equity, deduced from 
some record, and that the successful claimant 
should be liable to a judgment against him for 
all valuable and lasting improvements made 

on the land prior to actual notice of an ad- 
verse claim." 

This was an act founded upon the princi- 
ples of simple justice, though the land law- 
yers proposed to "drive a coach and four 
through it" on the ground that "it was a vio- 
lation of the compact of separation with Vir- 
ginia, which declared that the rights and inter- 
ests of lands derived from the laws of Vir- 
ginia should be decided by the laws in force 
when the compact was made, and this pre- 
cluded legislation on the subject." 

It is gratifying to state that the courts of 
Kentucky sustained the validity of the act of 
the legislature, yet there was not yet to be an 
end to litigation over old land titles. For 
years the courts and lawyers were busy with 
innumerable suits and, as has been stated, 
there is still occasional litigation over the va- 
lidity of some ancient titles. 


Famous Resolutions of Young Kentucky — Errors of Reproduction and Authorship — 
Alien and Sedition Laws — Origin of Kentucky Resolutions — Jefferson and 
Breckinridge Resolutions — Text of Jefferson Resolutions.* 

Of all the resolutions which have been en- 
acted by the law-making powers of the differ- 
ent states of the Union none have been so fa- 
mous and enduring as those adopted by the 
legislature of Kentucky in 1798 and 1799. 
The legislatures of older states have often en- 
tered the political arena and put forth edicts 
that were to settle great conflicts, but their 
works perished with the occasions which 
brought them into use and have no longer any 
place other than the musty pages which record 
them in unused journals. 

Not so, however, with the resolutions of 
young Kentucky, a state only half a dozen 
years old, when she made them. Her resolves 
have been living things, fair, active and 
mighty, from their birth more than five score 
years ago, until the present moment. They 
were the strong foundation on which stood the 
Republican organization, when it began those 
assauhs upon the Federalists which ended in 
the downfall of the latter and the triumph of 
the former. They were the broad platform of 
the great Democratic party which succeeded 
the Republican. (It may not be pleasant for 
certain uninformed Democrats of today to 
know that that party in the days of Jefferson 
was known as the Republican party.) These 
resolutions were the animating spirit of the 
states-rights politicians, who were strong 

*The greater part of the following two chapters 
is from the pen of Col. R. T. Durrett and originally 
appeared in the "Southern Bivouac." The mat- 
ter is reproduced here by his permission.— Author. 

vm I— 10. 145 

when the constitution was adopted and whose 
numbers are yet legion in different parts of 
our country. They were the badge of true 
Democracy, the test of the accepted faith of 
the party for two generations after their 
adoption, and there are numerous Democrats 
yet in the land who cherish them as their po- 
litical gospel. They were claimed, though 
erroneously, to have furnished the Prome- 
thean spark which kindled the fiery ordinance 
of nullification in South Carolina in 1832. 
They are believed by numbers to have im- 
parted inspiration to the seceding sovereign 
states in i860, which waged against the 
United States the most stupendous civil war 
of modern times. They still have their place 
in the political heart of millions of our people, 
north, south, east and west, as fresh and po- 
tent as they were when issued by the Ken- 
tucky legislators more than one hundred years 

But famous and enduring as these resolu- 
tions have been, they have come to our times 
through tradition and through history, marred 
by errors in their wording and false interpre- 
tation of their meaning. Although they have 
again and again been printed in handbills, in 
pamphlets and in books, it is hardly too much 
to say that with one exception there has never 
been a full and accurate reproduction of them 
in any single publication since they were 
adopted by the Kentucky legislature. Their 
authorship has been partly attributed to one 



who had no sliare in their composition, and 
their exchisive paternity has been claimed for 
one of the ilhistrious trio who conceived them, 
when each of his colleagues was entitled to at 
least a part of the honor. And so the errors 
in regard to them have gone on and on, until 
the distinguished Kentuckian who sat in the 
conference which conceived them, presented 
them to the legislature and had them adopted 
by that body, and, in reality, had more to do 
with them than any other man. has been writ- 
ten down in some histories as having, like an 
automaton, only presented another's work to 
the legislature which adopted them, and, in 
others, as having had no connection with them 
whatever. Even as eminent a historian as 
Richard Hildreth commits the error of plac- 
ing George Nicholas, instead of John Brecken- 
ridge. in the conference at Monticello which 
originated them, and in the legislature which 
adopted them. 

With a view to correcting some of these 
historic blunders, and laying before the reader 
of today an accurate copy of these resolutions, 
as well as other papers connected with them 
and necessary for their proper understanding, 
this chapter is undertaken. To accomplish 
this end, no way seems so simple as a plain 
statement of the historic facts concerning 
these resolutions and a reproduction of them, 
together with other papers connected with 
them from originals which have long been out 
of print and which are now so rare as to be 
out of reach of the general reader. As these 
resolutions, although issued in Kentucky, were 
not local in character but eminently national 
in their scope, there must be many outside of 
this commonwealth who will be thankful for 
a true sight of these celebrities of the eight- 
eenth century. 

In the summer of 1798, the Acts of Con- 
gress known as the Alien and Sedition laws, 
were passed, the former on the 22d of June 
and the latter on the 14th of July. The Alien 
act was designed to rid the country of ob- 

noxious foreigners and the Sedition act to 
punish citizens whose tongues spoke and 
whose pens wrote too severely against the 
president and the congress. Never were acts 
of congress received by a vast majority of the 
people with more bitter and deep condemna- 
tion. A cry of indignation went up against 
them from every quarter of the land. Peti- 
tions for their repeal, loaded with long lists 
of signatures, poured in from near and distant 
sections. Public meetings were held in iliffer- 
ent states at which burning resolutions of de- 
nunciation were adopted and defiant speeches 
uttered by flaming orators. The opposition 
newspapers were gorged with terrific articles 
over such tyrant-destroying signatures as 
"Brutus" and "Cassius" and inflammatory 
pamphlets issued to swell the fearful cry of 
abhorrence. Distinguished foreigners, who 
had helped with their money or their swords, 
to gain our liberty, fled from the home of the 
free as from a land reeking with pestilence. 
The ofificers of the Federal courts, meta- 
morphosed into human gaggers and news- 
paper censors, used the might of their position 
for crushing their fellow citizens who had 
presumed to write or speak unbecomingly of 
the powers that ruled. I\Iatthew Lyon, a 
member of congress from A'ermont, was in- 
dicted in the I'nited States court of that state 
for having too severely criticised the conduct 
of the president and of the congress, and was 
fined one thousand dollars and incarcerated in 
the loathsome prison of Vergennes for four 
months. The grandson of Matthew Lyon was 
afterward a prominent citizen of Kentucky, 
and as Gen. H. B. Lyon, won distinction as a 
gallant leader of Confederate cavalry in the 
War between the States. 

Indictments were foimd against other lead- 
ing men for similar ofi^enses and the fate of 
Lyon was held up as an earnest of what all 
might e.xpect who presumed to e.xercise the 
freedom of speech and the freedom of the 
press, guaranteed by the second amendment of 



the constitution. The Federal majority which 
passed these obnoxious laws still existed in 
congress, but blind to this portentious rising 
of the people against them, calmly looked upon 
the gathering storm without due efforts to ar- 
rest it until it gathered a strength which fin- 
ally swept them from power. 

In the midst of this tremendous excite- 
ment incident to the Alien and Sedition laws, 
John P)reckinridge of Kentucky and Wilson 
C. Nicholas, of Virginia, on a visit to Monti- 
cello in the fall of 1798 had a conference with 
Thomas Jefferson, the leader if not the father 
of the then Republican party, as to the consti- 
tutionality of these laws and the best mode 
of averting their danger. From a letter after- 
wards written by Mr. Jefferson to J. Cabell 
Breckinridge, a son of John Breckinridge, 
some ■ important facts are learned as to this 
meeting of these three distinguished gentle- 
men and the origin of the Kentucky Resolu- 
tions. As this letter, when a copy of it was 
found among the papers of Mr. Jefferson by 
his executor, was erroneously assumed to have 
been written to a son of Mr. Nicholas and 

first given to the public addressed to 

Nicholas, on page 344 of the fourth volume of 
Mr. Randolph's "Life of Jefferson ;" and as 
this mistake has been unfortunately repeated 
not only in histories of Kentucky, but those of 
other states and of the United States, a repro- 
duction of it here is necessary to the truth of 
history, as well to the elucidation of the Reso- 
lutions. The letter in question is as follows : 


"Dear Sir : Your letter of Dec. 19th places me 
under a dilemma which I cannot solve, but by an 
exposition of the naked truth. I would have wished 
this rather to have remained as hitherto, without en- 
quiry, but your enquiries have a right to be an- 
swered. I will do it as exactly as the great lapse 
of time and a waning memory will permit me. I 
may misremember indifferent circumstances but can 
be right in substance. At the time when the Re- 
publicans of our country were so much alarmed at 
the proceedings of the Federal ascendancy in Con- 
gress, in the Executive and the Judiciary depart- 

ments, it became a matter of serious consideration 
how head could be made against their enterprises 
on the Constitution. The leading Republicans in 
Congress found themselves of no use there, brow- 
beaten as they were by a bold and overwhelming 
majority. They concluded to retire from that field; 
take a stand in their State legislatures, and en- 
deavor there to arrest their progress. The Alien 
and Sedition laws furnished the particular occasion. 
The sympathy between Virginia and Kentucky was 
more cordial and more intimately confidential than 
between any other two States of Republican policy. 
Mr Madison came into the Virginia Legislature 
I was then in the Vice Presidency and could not 
leave my station, but your father, Col. W. C. Nich- 
olas, and myself happening to be together, the en- 
gaging the co-operation of Kentucky in an energetic 
protestation against the constitutionality of these 
laws became a subject of consultation. Those gen- 
tlemen pressed me strongly to sketch resolutions 
for that purpose, your father undertaking to present 
them to that Legislature with a solemn assurance, 
which I strictly required, that it should not be known 
from what quarter they came. I drew and delivered 
them to him and in keeping their origin secret he 
fulfilled his pledge of honor Some years after this. 
Col. Nicholas asked me if I would have any objec- 
tion to its being known that I had drawn them. 
I pointedly enjoined that it should not. Whether he 
had unguardedly intimated it before to any one I 
know not, but I afterwards observed in the papers 
repeated imputations of them to me; on which, as 
has been my practice on all occasions of imputation, 
I have observed entire silence. The question, in- 
deed, has never before been put to me, nor should 
I answer it to any other than yourself, seeing no good 
end to be proposed by it, and the desire for tran- 
quility inducing with me a wish to be withdrawn 
from public notice. Your father's zeal and talents 
were too well-known to deserve any additional dis- 
tinction from the penning these resolutions. That 
circumstance surely was of far less merit than the 
proposing and carrying them through the Legisla- 
ture of his State. The only fact in this statement 
on which my memory is not distinct is the time and 
occasion of the consultation with your father and 
Mr. Nicholas. It took place here, I know, but 
whether any other person was present, or communi- 
cated with, is my doubt. I think Mr. Madison was 
either with us or consulted, but my memory is un- 
certain as to minute details. I fear, dear sir, we 
are now on such another crisis with this difference 
only, that the Judiciary branch is alone and single- 
handed in the present assaults on the Constitution, 



but its assaults are more sure and deadly, as from 
an agent seemingly passive and unassuming. May 
you and your contemporaries meet them with the 
same determination and effect as j'our father and 
his did the Alien and Sedition laws, and preserve 
inviolate a Constitution which, cherished in all its 
chastity and purity, will prove in the end a blessing 
to all the nations of the Earth. With these prayers, 
accept those for your own happiness and pros- 

''Thom.^s Jefferson." 

A\ hile it is painful to see, in the foregoing 
letter, so broad a claim upon the part of Mr. 
Jefferson to the authorship of these resolu- 
tions, without an ample acknowledgment 
that the}- were drafted in conformity with the 
previously agreed views of himself, John 
Breckinridge and Wilson C. Nicholas and pos- 
sibly Mr. Madison, and w-ithout a suggestion 
that they had been materially altered by John 
Breckinridge before he laid them before the 
Kentucky legislature which adopted them, the 
letter shows that in this meeting at Monticello, 
it was agreed between these distinguished gen- 
tlemen that the best way to counteract the 
Alien and Sedition laws was to array the state 
legislatures against them. To this end, a se- 
ries of resolutions was to be prepared for the 
Kentucky legislature which should make this 
state, in cooperation with Virginia, put forth 
a solemn protest against the constitutionality 
of these laws, and Mr. Breckinridge, then a 
member of the Kentucky legislature, was to 
undertake to have them adopted by that body. 
This conclusion having been reached at the 
conference, it was but natural and courteous 
that Mr. Jefferson should have been invited 
to draft the resolutions. He was vice presi- 
dent of the United States and the acknowd- 
edged leader of the political party then gather- 
ing strength for its impending conflict with 
the Federalists and destined in its triumph, to 
make him the successor of Mr. Adams in the 
presidential chair. The conference, moreover, 
was at the home of Mr. Jefferson, and it 
woulrl have been scarcely less than rude for 

his guests not to have urged their host to 
sketch the resolutions. When the promise, 
therefore, of secrecy, was made, Mr. Jeffer- 
son did draw a series of resolutions and de- 
liver them to ]\Ir. Breckinridge. 

The resolutions thus drawn by Mr. Jeffer- 
son were not, however, identical with those 
which Mr. Breckinridge afterwards presented 
to the Kentucky legislature and which were 
adopted by that body. The first seven of the 
Breckinridge, or Kentucky resolutions, are 
the same as these numbers of the Jefferson 
draft, except as to a few unimportant verbal 
changes ; but the eighth and ninth of the 
Breckinridge or Kentucky set, are radically 
dift'erent from these numbers in the Jefferson 
draft. ^Ir. Breckinridge, after receiving the 
Jefferson draft, evidently exercised his right 
to so alter the text as to make the resolutions 
meet his own views and conform to his under- 
standing of their tenor and import as agreed 
in the conference. As it is the purpose of this 
paper to supply both the Jefferson and the 
Breckinridge or Kentucky resolutions, no at- 
tempt is made here to point out the differences 
between the two. As the Jefferson resolutions 
come first in historical sequence, they are 
given first here, from a copy of them as found 
in his papers after his death, by his executor, 
Mr. Thomas Jefferson Randolph : 

Text of Jefferson Resolutions. 

"Resolved: That the several States composing 
the United States of America, are not united on the 
principle of unlimited submission to the General 
Government ; but that by a compact under the style 
and title of a Constitution for the United States 
and of amendments thereto, they constituted a Gen- 
eral Government for special purposes ; delegated to 
that Government certain definite powers, reserving, 
each State to itself, the residuary mass of, right to 
their own self-government; and that whensoever the 
General Government assumes undelegated powers, 
its acts are unauthoritative, void and of no force; 
that to this compact each State acceded as a State 
and is an integral party ; its Co-States forming as 
to itself, the other party; that the Government ere- 



ated by this compact was not made the exclusive or 
final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to 
itself, since that would have made its descretion and 
not the Constitution the measure of its powers, but 
that, as in all other cases of compact, among powers 
having no common judge, each party has an equal 
right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of 
the mode and measure of redress. 

■'{2)— Resolved: That the Constitution of the 
United States having delegated to Congress a power 
to punish treason, counterfeiting the securities and 
current coin of the United States; piracies and fel- 
onies upon the high seas and offenses against the 
law of nations and no other crimes whatsoever, and 
it being true, as a general principle and one of the 
amendments to the Constitution having also de- 
clared, that 'the powers not delegated to the United 
States' by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to 
the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or 
the people,' therefore the act of Congress passed on 
the 14th of July, 1798, and entitled 'An act in addi- 
tion to the act entitled an act for the punishment of 
certain crimes against the United States,' as also the 

act passed by them on the day of June, 1798, 

entitled 'An act to punish frauds committed on the 
Bank of the United States' (and all other their acts 
which assume to create, define or punish crhnes 
other than those so enumerated in the Constitution) 
are altogether void and of no force, and that the 
power to create, define and punish such other crimes 
is reserved and of right appertains solely and ex- 
clusively to the respective States, each within its 
own territory. 

-{2,)— Resolved: That it is true, as a general 
principle and is also expressly declared by one of the 
amendments to the Constitution, that the powers 
not delegated to the United States by the Constitu- 
tion nor prohibited by it to the States, were reserved 
to the States respectively or to the people, and that 
no power over the freedom of religion, freedom of 
speech or freedom of the press being delegated to 
the United States by the Constitution nor pro- 
hibited by it to the States, all lawful powers respect- 
ing the same did of right remain and were reserved 
to the States or the people : that thus was manifested 
their determination to retain themselves the right of 
judging how far the licentiousness of speech and 
of the press may be abridged without lessening their 
useful freedom, and how far those abuses which can- 
not be separated frcni their use, should be toler- 
ated rather than the use be destroyed ; and thus 
also, they guarded against all abridgement by 
the United States of the freedom of religious opin- 
ions and exercises, and retained tn themselves the 

right of protecting the same ; as this State by law 
passed on the general demand of its citizens, had 
already protected them from all human restraints or 
interference, and that in addition to this general 
principle and express declaration, another and more 
special provision has been made by one of the 
amendments to the Constitution, which expressly 
declares that 'Congress shall make no law respecting 
an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free 
exercise thereof or abridging the freedom of speech 
or of the press,' thereby guarding in the same sen- 
tence and under the same words, the freedom of re- 
ligion, of speech and of the press, insomuch that 
whatever violates either throws down the sanctuary 
which covers the others and that libels, falsehood 
and defamation, equally with heresy and false re- 
ligion, are withheld from the cognizance of Federal 
tribunals ; that, therefore, the act of Congress of the 
United States passed on the 14th day of July, 1798, 
entitled 'An act in addition to an act entitled an 
act for the punishment of certain crimes af^ainst 
the United States,' which does abridge the freedom 
of the press, is not law, but is altogether void and 
of no force. 

"{4)~Resolvcd: That alien friends are under 
the jurisdiction and protection of the laws of the 
State wherein they are; that no power over them 
has been delegated to the United States, nor pro- 
hibited to the individual States distinct from their 
power over citizens, and it being true, as a gen- 
eral principle and one of the amendments to the 
Constitution having also declared that 'the powers 
not delegated to the United States by the Constitu- 
tion nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved 
to the States respectively or to the people,' the 
act of the Congress of the United States passed on 
th"-" ^ day of July, 1798, entitled 'an act con- 
cerning aliens.' which assumes power over alien 
friends not delegated by the Constitution, is not law 
but is altogether void and of no force 

"(5) — Resolved: That in addition to the general 
principle, as well as the express declaration that 
powers not delegated are reserved, another and more 
special provision inserted in the Constitution from 
abundant caution has declared that 'the migration 
or importation of such persons as any of the States 
now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not 
be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year 
1808;' that this Commonw^ealth does admit the 
emigration of alien friends described as the sub- 
jects of the said act concerning aliens; that a pro- 
vision against prohibiting their migration is a pro- 
vision against all acts equivalent thereto, as it would 
be nugatory ; that to remove them when emigrated 



is equivalent to a prohibition of their migration and 
is therefore contrary to the said provision of the 
Constitution and void. 

"(6) — Resolved: That the imprisonment of a 
person under the protection of the laws of this 
Commonwealth on his failure to obey the simple 
order of the President to depart out of the United 
States, as is undertaken by the said act entitled 'an 
act concerning aliens,' is contrary to the Constitu- 
tion, one amendment of which has provided that 
'no person shall be deprived of liberty without due 
process of law.' and that anotner having provided 
that 'in all criminal proceedings the accused shall 
enjoy the right to a public trial by an impartial jury ; 
to be informed of the nature and cause of the ac- 
cusation ; to be confronted with the witnesses against 
him ; to have compulsory process for obtaining wit- 
nesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of 
counsel for his defense.' The same act, undertaking 
to authorize the President of the United States to 
remove a person out of the United States who is 
under the protection of the law, on his own suspi- 
cion, without accusation, without jury, without public 
trial, without confrontation of the witnesses against 
him, without hearing witnesses in his favor, with- 
out defense, without counsel, is contrary to these 
provisions, also of the Constitution, is therefore not 
law, but utterly void and of no force ; that trans- 
ferring the power of judging any person who is 
under the protection of the law, from the courts to 
the President of the United States, as is undertaken 
by the same act concerning aliens, is against the 
article of the Constitution which provides that 'the 
judicial power of the United States shall be vested 
in courts, the judges of which shall hold their offices 
during good behavior;' and that the said act is 
void for that reason also; and it is further to be 
noted that this transfer of judiciary power is to that 
magistrate of the General Government who already 
possesses all the executive and a negative on ill the 
legislative powers. 

"(7) — Resolved: That the construction applied 
by the General Government (as is evidenced by 
sundry of their proceedings) to those parts of the 
Constitution of the United States which delegate to 
Congress a power 'to lay and collect taxes, duties, 
imports and excises to pay the debt and provide for 
the common defense and general welfare of the 
United States, and to make all laws which shall be 
necessary and proper for carrying into execution the 
powers vested by the Constitution in the Govern- 
ment of the United States or in any department or 
offices thereof,' goes to the destruction of all the 

limits prescribed to their power by the Constitution; 
that words meant by that instrument to be subsidiary 
only to the execution of limited powers ought not to 
be so construed as themselves to give unlimited 
powers, nor a part to be so taken as to destroy the 
whole residue of that instrument; that the proceed- 
ings of the General Government under color of these 
articles will be a fit and necessary subject of revisal 
and correction at a time of greater tranquility while 
those specified in the preceding resolutions call for 
immediate redress. 

"(8) — Resolved: That a committee of Confer- 
ence and Correspondence be appointed, who shall 
have in charge to communicate the preceding resolu- 
tions to the Legislatures of the several States; to 
assure them that this Commonwealth continues in 
the same esteem for their friendship and union which 
it has manifested from that moment at which a 
common danger first suggested a common union; 
that it considers union, for specified national pur- 
poses, and particularly for those specified in their late 
Federal Compact, to be friendly to the peace, hap- 
piness and prosperity of all the States; that faithful 
to that compact according to the plain intent and 
meaning in which it was. understood and acceded to 
by the several parties, it is sincerely anxious for its 
preservation ; that it does also believe that to take 
from the States all the powers of self-government 
and transfer them to a general and consolidated 
government, without regard to the special delega- 
tions and reservations solemnly agreed to in that 
compact, is not for the peace, happiness nor pros- 
erity of these States ; and, that therefore, this Com- 
monwealth is determined, as it doubts not its co- 
States are, to submit to undelegated and conse- 
quently unlimited powers in no man or body of men 
on earth ; that in cases of the abuse of the delegated 
powers, the members of the General Government 
being chosen by the people, a change by the people 
would be the constitutional remedy ; but where 
powers are assumed which have not been delegated, 
a nullification of the act is the right remedy: that 
every State has a natural right, in cases not within 
the compact, to nullify of their own authority all 
assumptions of power by others within their limits; 
that without their right th?y would be under the 
dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whatsoever 
might exercise this right of judgment for them; 
that nevertheless, this Commonwealth, from motives 
of regard and respect for its co-States, has wishec* 
to communicate with them on the subject ; that with 
them alone it is proper to communicate, they alone 
being parties to the compact and solely authorized to 



judge, in the last resort, of the powers exercised 
under it, Congress being not a party, but merely the 
creature of the compact and subject, as to its as- 
sumption of power, to the final judgment of those 
by whom and for whose use itself and its powers 
were all created and modified ; that, if the acts be- 
fore specified should stand, these conclusions would 
flow from them, that the General Government may 
place any act they think proper on the list of crimes 
and punish it themselves whether enumerated or not 
enumerated by the Constitution as cognizable by 
them; that they may transfer its cognizance to the 
President or any other person, who may. himself, be 
the accuser, counsel, judge and jury, whose suspi- 
cions may be the evidence, his order the sentence, 
his officer the executioner, and his breast the sole 
record of the transactions; that a very numerous and 
valuable description of the inhabitants of these States 
being by this precedent, reduced as outlaws to the 
absolute dominion of one man and the barrier of 
the Constitution thus swept away for us all, no ram- 
part now remains against the passions and the power 
of a majority in Congress to protect from a like ex- 
portation, or other more grievous punishment the 
minority of the same body, the legislatures, judges, 
governors and counsellors of the States, nor their 
other peaceable inhabitants who may venture to re- 
claim the Constitutional rights and liberties of the 
States and people or who, for other causes, good or 
bad, may be obnoxious to the views or marked by 
the suspicion of the President, or be thought dan- 
gerous to his or their elections or other interests 
public or personal; that the friendless alien has in- 
deed been selected as the safest subject of a first 
experiment, but the citizen will soon follow; rather, 
has already followed, for already has a sedition act 
marked him as its prey; that these and successive 
acts of the same character, unless arrested at the 
threshold, necessarily drive these States into revolu- 
tion and blood, and will furnish new calumnies 
against republican governments and- new pretexts 
for those who wish it to be believed that man can- 
not be. governed but by a rod of iron; that it would 
be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the 
men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety 
of our rights ; that confidence is everywhere the 
parent of despotism. Free government is founded 
in jealousv and not in confidetice ; it is jealousy and 
not confidence, which prescribes limited constitutions, 
to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust 
with power ; that our Constitution has accordingly 
fixed the limits to which and no further, our con- 

fidence may go. And let the honest advocate of 
confidence read the Alien and Sedition acts and say 
if the Constitution has not been wise in fixing limits 
to the Government it created, and whether we 
would be wise in destroying those limits. Let him 
say what the Government is, if it be not a tyranny 
which the men of our choice have conferred on our 
President and the President of our choice has as- 
sented to and accepted, over the friendly strangers 
to whom the mild spirit of our country and its laws 
had pledged hospitality and protection; that the men 
of our choice have more respected the bare suspicions 
of the President than the solid rights of innocence, 
the claims of justification, the sacred force of truth 
and the forms and substance of law and justice; in 
questions of power then let no more be heard of 
confidence in man but bind him down from mischief 
by the chains of the Constitution ; that this Common- 
wealth does therefore call on its co-States for an 
expression of their sentiments on the acts concerning 
aliens and for the punishment of certain crimes 
hereinbefore specified; plainly declaring whether 
these acts are, or are not. authorized by the Federal 

".And it doubts not that their sense will be so 
enounced as to prove their attachment unaltered to 
limited government, whether general or particular, 
and that the rights and liberties of their co-States 
will be exposed to no dangers by remaining em- 
banked in a common bottom with their own; that 
they will concur with this Commonwealth in con- 
sidering the said acts as so palpably against the 
Constitution as to amount to an undisguised declara- 
tion that that compact is not meant to be the meas- 
ure of the powers of the General Government, but 
that it will proceed in the exercise over these States 
of all powers whatsoever ; that they will view this 
as seizing the rights of the States and consolidating 
them in the hands of the General Government with 
a power assumed to bind the States (not merely in 
the cases made Federal) but in all cases whatso- 
ever, by laws made not with their consent, but by 
others against their consent; that this would be to 
surrender the form of government we have chosen 
and to live under one deriving its powers from its 
own will and not from our authority, and that the 
co-States recurring to their natural rights, in cases 
not made Federal, will concur in declaring these 
acts void and of no force, and will each take meas- 
ures of its own for providing that neither these acts 
nor any others of the General Government not 
plainly and intentionally authorized by the Constitu- 


tion, shall be exercised within their respective ter- with them, and that they lay their proceedings before 

ritories. the next session of the Assembly." 

"(9) — Resolved: That the said Committee be "Note.— Richmond, March 21, 1832 — I have care- 
authorized to communicate, by writing or personal fully compared this copy with the Mss. of these 
conferences at any times or places whatever, with resolutions in the handwriting of Thomas Jefferson, 
any person or persons who may be appointed by any and find it a correct and full copy." 
one or more of the co-States to correspond or confer "(Signed) Th. Jefferson Randolph." 


The Breckinridge Resolutions — Text of Adopted Resolutions — Freedom of Speech 

Violated — Alien Law Null and Void — Unlawfully Deprived of Liberty — Protest 
Against Centralized Government — Call Upon the Co- States. 

On November 5, 1798, the legislature of 
Kentucky assembled at Frankfort. On the 
7th, John Breckinridge gave notice that on 
the following day he would move the house to 
go into committee of the whole for the consid- 
eration of that portion of the executive's mes- 
sage which related to the Alien and Sedition 
laws. Accordingly on the 8th, the house went 
into committee of the whole on the motion of 
Mr. Breckinridge, who then offered for adop- 
tion the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798. 

As these resolutions have been so often in- 
accurately printed, nothing short of a repro- 
duction of them precisely as they came from 
the Kentucky legislature would be just or 
proper. The only difference between the orig- 
inal and the copy which follows is found in 
adopting the modern style of spelling, instead 
of that of the original, and the use of the letter 
"s" for that of "f" wherever the latter was 
used, in accordance with the custom and usage 
of that date. 


"In the House of Representatives 
"November loth, 1798 
"The House, according to the standing Or- 
der of the Day, resolved itself into a Commit- 
tee of the Whole on the state of the Common- 

"Mr. Caldwell in the chair. 
"And after some time spent therein, the 
Speaker resumed the Chair and Mr. Caldwell 


reported that the Committee had, according 
to order, had under consideration the Gover- 
nor's Address and had come to the following 
resolutions thereupon, which he delivered in 
at the Clerk's table where they were twice 
read and agreed to by the House. 

I — "Resolved, That the several States com- 
posing the United States of America, are not 
united on the principle of unlimited submis- 
sion to their General Government, but that by 
compact under the style of a Constitution for 
the L'uited States and of amendments thereto, 
they constituted a General Government for 
special purposes, delegated to that Govern- 
ment certain definite powers, reserving, each 
State to itself, the residuary mass of right to 
their own self-government; and that whenso- 
ever the General Government assumes undele- 
gated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, 
void and of no force. That to this compact, 
each State acceded as a State and in an inte- 
gral party, its co-States forming as to itself, 
the other party. That the Government created 
by this compact was not made the exclusive 
or final judge of the extent of the powers 
delegated to itself, since that would have made 
its discretion and not the Constitution, the 
measure of its powers ; but that as in all other 
cases of compact among parties having no 
common Judge, each party has an equal right 
to judge for itself, as well of infractions as 
of the mode and measure of redress. 



II — "Resolved, that the Constitution of the 
United States, having delegated to Congress a 
power to punish treason, counterfeiting the se- 
curities and current coin of the United States, 
piracies and felonies committed on the High 
Seas, and offences against the laws of nations, 
and no other crimes whatever, and it being 
true, as a general principle, and one of the 
amendments to the Constitution having also 
declared 'that the powers not delegated to the 
United States by the Constitution, nor pro- 
hibited by it to the States, are reserved to the 
States respectively or to the people,' therefore, 
also the same act of Congress passed on the 
14th day of July, 1798, and entitled 'An act in 
addition to the act entitled an act for the pun- 
ishment of certain crimes against the United 
States ;' as also, the act passed by them on the 
27th day of June, 1798 entitled 'An act to 
punish frauds committed on the Bank of the 
United States' (and all other, their acts which 
assume to create, define or punish crimes other 
than those enumerated in the Constitution,) 
are altogether void and of no force and that 
the power to create, define and punish such 
other crimes is reserved and of right, apper- 
tains solely and exclusively to the respective 
States, each within its own territory. 

HI — "Resolved, that it is true as a general 
principle and is also expressly declared by one 
of the amendments to the Constitution, that 
'the powers not delegated to the United States 
by the Constitution nor prohibited to it by the 
the States, are reserved to the States respec- 
tively or to the people' and that no power over 
the freedom of religion, freedom of speech or 
freedom of the press being delegated to the 
United States by the Constitution nor prohib- 
ited by it to the States, all lawful powers re- 
specting the same did, of right, remain and 
were reserved to the States or to the people : 
That thus was manifested their determination 
to retain to themselves the 'right of judging 
how far the licentiousness of speech and of 
the press may be abridged without lessening 

their useful freedom, and how far those 
abuses which cannot be separated from their 
use, shall be tolerated rather than the use be 
destroyed ; and thus also, they guarded against 
all abridgement by the United States of the 
freedom of religious opinions and exercises 
and retained to themselves the right of pro- 
tecting the same as this State, by a law passed 
on the general demand of its citizens, had al- 
ready protected them from all human restraint 
or interference. And that, in addition to this 
general principle and express declaration, an- 
other and more special provision has been 
made by one of the amendments to the Con- 
stitution which expressly declares that 'Con- 
gress shall make no law respecting an estab- 
lishment of religion or prohibiting the free 
exercise thereof or abridging the freedom of 
speech or of the press" thereby guarding in 
the same sentence and under the same words, 
the freedom of religion, of speech and of the 
press, insomuch that whatever violates either 
throws down the sanctuary which covers the 
others, and that libels, falsehoods and defama- 
tion equally with heresy and false religion, are 
witheld from the cognizance of Federal tribu- 
nals. That, therefore, the Act of the Con- 
gress of the United States passed on the 14th 
day of July, 1798, entitled 'An act in addition 
to the act for the punishment of certain 
crimes against the United States," which does 
abridge the freedom of the press, is not law 
but is altogether void and of no effect. 

IV — "Resolved, that alien friends are under 
the jurisdiction and protection of the State 
wherein they are; that no power over them 
has been delegated to the United States nor 
prohibited to the individual States distinct 
from their powers over citizens ; and, it being 
true as a general principle and one of the 
amendments of the Constitution having also 
declared, that 'the powers not delegated to the 
United States by the Constitution nor pro- 
hibited by it to the States are reserved to the 
States respectively or to the people" the Act 



of the Congress of the United States passed 
on the 22d clay of June, 1798, entitled 'An act 
concerning aliens, which assumes power over 
alien friends not delegated by the Constitu- 
tion, is not law but is altogether void and of 
no force. 

V — "Resolved, That in addition to the gen- 
eral principle, as well as the express declara- 
tion, that powers not delegated are reserved, 
another and more special provision inserted 
in the Constitution from abundant caution, 
has declared 'that the migration or importa- 
tion of such persons as any of the States now 
existing shall think proper to admit, shall not 
be prohibited by the Congress prior to the 
year 1808.' That this Commonwealth does 
admit the migration of alien friends described 
as the subject of the said act concerning 
aliens ; that a provision against prohibiting 
their migration, is a provision against all acts 
equivalent thereto, or it would be nugatory ; 
that to remove them when migrated or equiv- 
alent to a prohibition of their migration, and 
is therefore contrary to the said provision of 
the Constitution and void. 

VI — "Resolved, That the imprisonment of 
a person under the protection of the laws of 
this Commonwealth on his failure to obey the 
simple order of the President to depart out 
of the United States, as is undertaken by the 
said act entitled 'An act concerning aliens' is 
contrary to the Constitution, one amendment 
to which has provided that 'no person shall be 
deprived of liberty without due process of 
law' and that another having provided that 
'in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall 
enjoy the right to a public trial by an impartial 
jury, to be informed of the nature and cause 
of the accusation, to be confronted with the 
witnesses against him, to have compulsory 
process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, 
and to have the assistance of counsel for his 
defence,' the act undertaking to authorize the 
President to remove a person out of the 
United States who is under the protection of 

the law, on his own suspicion, without accu- 
sation, without jury, without public trial, with- 
out confrontation of the witnesses against him, 
without having witnesses in his favor, with- 
out defense, without counsel, is contrary to 
these provisions also of the Constitution, is 
therefore not law but utterly void and of no 

"That transferring the power of judging 
any person who is under the protection of the 
laws from the courts to the President of the 
United States, as is undertaken by the same 
act concerning aliens, is against the article 
of the Constitution which provided that 'the 
judicial power of the United States shall be 
vested in Courts the judges of wdiich shall 
iiold their offices during good behavior' and 
that the said act is void for that reason also ; 
and it is further to be noted that this transfer 
of judicial power is to that magistrate of the 
General Government who already possesses 
all the Executive, and a qualified negative in 
all the legislative powers. 

\TI — "Resolved, That the construction ap- 
plied by the General Government (as is evi- 
denced by sundry of their proceedings) to 
those parts of the Constitution of the United 
States which delegate to Congress a power to 
lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and ex- 
cises ; to pay the debts and provide for the 
common defence and general welfare of the 
United States, and to make all laws which 
shall be necessary and proper for carrying 
into execution the powers vested by the Con- 
stitution in the Government of the United 
States, or any Department thereof, goes to 
the destruction of all the limits prescribed to 
their power by the Constitution — that words 
meant by that instrument to be subsidiary only 
to the execution of the limited power ought 
not to be so construed as themselves to give 
unlimited powers, nor a part so to be taken 
as to destroy the whole residue of the instru- 
ment ; that the proceedings of the General 
Government under color of these articles will 



be a fit and necessary subject for revisal and 
correction at a time of greater tranquility 
while those specified in the preceding resolu- 
tions call for immediate redress. 

VTII — "Resolved, That the preceding Reso- 
lutions be transmitted to the Senators and 
Representatives in Congress from this Com- 
monwealth who are hereby enjoined to pre- 
sent the same to their respective houses and to 
use their best endeavors to procure at the next 
session of Congress a repeal of the aforesaid 
unconstitutional and obnoxious acts. 

IX— "Resolved, lastly, that the Governor of 
this Commonwealth be and is hereby author- 
ized and requested to communicate the preced- 
ing resolutions to the Legislatures of the sev- 
eral States ; to assure them that this Common- 
wealth considers Union for specified national 
purposes, and particularly for those specified 
in their late Federal Compact, to be friendly 
to the peace, happiness and prosperity of all 
the States; that, faithful to that compact ac- 
cording to the plain intent and meaning in 
which it was understood and acceded to by 
the several parties, it is sincerely anxious for 
its preservation ; that it does also believe that 
to take from the States all their powers of 
self-government and transfer them to a gen- 
eral and consolidated Government without re- 
gard to the special delegations and reserva- 
tions solemnly agreed to in that compact, is 
not for the peace, happiness or prosperity of 
these States, and that therefore, this Com- 
monwealth is determined, as it doubts not its 
co-States are, tamely to submit to undelegated 
and consequently unlimited powers in no man 
or body of men on earth; that if the acts be- 
fore specified should stand, these conclusions 
would flow from them: That the General 
Government may place any act they think 
proper on the list of crimes and punish it 
themselves, whether enumerated or not enum- 
erated by the Constitution as cognizable by 
them : that they may transfer its cognizance 
to the President or any other person who may 

himself be the accuser, counsel, judge and 
jury, whose suspicions may be the evidence, 
his order the sentence, his officer the execu- 
tioner, and his breast the sole record of the 
transaction; that a very numerous and valu- 
able discription of the inhabitants of these 
States being, by this precedent, reduced as out- 
laws to the absolute dominion of one man 
and the barrier of the Constitution thus swept 
away from us all, no rampart now remains 
against the passions and the power of a major- 
ity of Congress to protect them from a like 
exportation or other more grievous punish- 
ment the minority of the same body, the Legis- 
latures, Judges, Governors and Counsellors of 
the States nor their other peaceable inhabi- 
tants who may venture to reclaim the constitu- 
tional rights and liberties of the States and 
people or who, for other causes, good or bad, 
may be obnoxious to the views or marked by 
the suspicions of the President, or be thought 
dangerous to his or their elections or other 
interests, public or personal : that the friend- 
less alien has indeed been selected as the safest 
subject of a first experiment, but the citizen 
will soon follow, or rather has already fol- 
lowed for already has a Sedition act marked 
him as its prey ; that these and successive acts 
of the same character, unless arrested on the 
threshold, may tend to drive these States into 
revolution and blood, and will furnish new 
calumnies against Republican Governments 
and new pretexts for those who wish it to be 
believed that man cannot be governed except 
by a rod of iron : that it would be a dangerous 
delusion were a confidence in the men of our 
choice to silence our fears for the safety of 
our rights : that confidence is everywhere the 
parent of despotism: free government is 
founded in jealousy and not in confidence : it 
is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes 
limited Constitutions to bind down those 
whom we are obliged to trust with power: 
that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the 
limits to which and no further, our confidence 



may gLi. and let the honest advocates of 
confidence read the Alien and Sedition Acts 
and say if the Constitution has not been wise 
in fixing limits to the (jovernment it created 
and whether we should be wise in destroying 
those limits. Let him say what the Govern- 
ment is if it be not a tyranny which the men 
of our choice have conferred on the President 
and the President of our choice has assented 
to and accepted, over the friendly strangers to 
whom the mild spirit of our country and its 
laws, had pledged hospitality and protection ; 
that the men of our choice have more re- 
spected the bare suspicions of the President 
than the solid rights of innocence, the claims 
of justification, the sacred force of truth and 
the forms and substance of law and justice. 
In questions of power then, let no more be 
heard of confidence in man but bind him 
down from mischief by the chain of the Con- 

"That the Commonwealth does therefore 
call on its co-States for an expression of their 
sentiments on the acts concerning Aliens and 
for the punishment of certain crimes herein- 
before specified, plainly declaring whether 
these acts are or are not authorized by the 
Federal Compact. And it doubts not that 
their sense will be so announced as to prove 
their attachment unaltered to limited Govern- 
ment, whether general or particular, and that 
the rights and liberties of their co-States will 
be exposed to no dangers by remaining em- 
barked on a common bottom with their own. 
That they will concur with the Commonwealth 
in considering the said acts as so palpably 
against the Constitution as to amount to an 

undisguised declaration that the Compact is 
not meant to be the measure of the powers of 
the General Government but that it will pro- 
ceed in the exercise and these States of all 
powers whatsoever : That they will view this 
as seizing the rights of the States and consoli- 
dating them in the hands of the General Gov- 
ernment with a power assumed to bind the 
States (not merely in cases made Federal) 
but in all cases whatsoever by laws made, not 
with their consent but by others against their 
consent ; That this would be to surrender the 
form of government we have chosen, and to 
live under one deriving its powers from its 
own will and not from our authority, and that 
the co-States, recurring to their natural rights 
in cases not made Federal, will concur in de- 
claring these acts void and of no force, and 
will each unite with this Commonwealth in 
requesting their repeal at the next session of 

"Edmund Bullock, S. H. R. 

"John Campbell, S. S. pro tem. 

"Passed the House of Representatives Nov. 
lo, 1798. 
"Attest Thomas Todd, C. H. R. 

In Senate, November 13, 1798; unanimously 
concurred in. 

Attest B. Thurston, Clk. Senate. 

Approved Nov. 16, 1798. 

James Garrard, G. K. 
By the Governor 
Harry Toulmin, 
Secretary of State. 


Xl'i.i.ificatiox Xot r.\ Kiixtlcky Resolutions — Adopted Without. Aiiexdmext — Source 
OF Foregoing Draft — Other State Legislatures Respoxd — Supported by Mother 

By comparing the Jefferson resolutions with 
those of Breckinridge, it will be seen that 
there is a radical dift'erence between them. 
The Jefferson set provide, at the beginning of 
the eighth resolution, which is a long one, em- 
bod3'ing various matters, for a committee of 
conference and correspondence to communi- 
cate the resolutions to the different state legis- 
latures, with a view to inducing these bodies to 
declare null and void acts of congress not au- 
thorized by the constitution, while the eighth 
resolution in the Breckinridge set is short and 
provides only for transmitting the resolutions 
to the Kentucky senators and representatives 
in congress, with a view to securing the repeal 
of the unconstitutional acts. 

Human ingenuity could hardly use words to 
express thoughts and embody principles more 
antagonistic. To repeal an act of congress in 
the way pointed out by the constitution, has 
no conceivable similarity with its nullification 
bv a single state, in its assumption of a sover- 
eignty over and above congress. The two 
principles are the antipodes of the political 

Again, in the eighth resolution of the Jeffer- 
son series, will be found the following sig- 
nificant words which are not in the Breckin- 
ridge series : "That in cases of an abuse of 
the delegated powers, the members of the 
general government, being chosen by the peo- 
ple, a change by the people would be the con- 
stitutional remedy, but where powers are as- 

sumed which have not been delegated, a nulli- 
fication of the act is the right remedy ; that 
every state has a natural right in cases not 
within the compact, to nullify of their own 
authority, all assumptions of power by others 
within their limits." 

And this eighth resolution closes with the 
following additional remarkable words, not to 
be found in the Breckinridge series: '"Will 
each take measures of its own for providing 
that neither these acts nor any others of the 
General Government, not plainly and inten- 
tionally authorized by the constitution, shall 
be exercised within their respective terri- 

These two extracts from the Jefferson reso- 
lutions embody the doctrine of nullification, as 
exemplified by South Carolina in 1832, but it 
will be in vain to search for this doctrine in 
the Breckinridge, or Kentucky resolutions of 
1798. And if there were no other differences 
between the Jefferson and Breckinridge reso- 
lutions, this variance is fundamental enough 
to assign to the two sets separate authorship 
and to class them as formulas of diff'erent po- 
litical creeds. 

The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, while 
asserting in its length and breadth and depth 
the doctrine of States Rights, look only to the 
repeal of unconstitutional laws passed by 
congress, while the Jeft'erson resolutions look 
to the nullification of such acts, and this by a 
single state. 




The resolutions of 1798 were adopted by 
the Kentucky legislature without amendment, 
precisely as they were offered by Mr. Breckin- 
ridge, but not without opposition. The op- 
ponents were few as compared with the advo- 
cates and yet quite a debate occurred between 
Mr. Breckinridge, the member from Fayette, 
and Mr. William Murray, the member from 
Franklin, a lawyer of commanding intellect, 
learning and eloquence. However interesting 
a report of the discussion might be to a few 
special readers, the large space already granted 
to this important subject, forbids its reproduc- 
tion here. Other distinguished members of 
the House — Thomas Clay of Madison, Phile- 
mon Thompson of Mason, Robert Johnson of 
Scott, James Smith of Bourbon and Alexan- 
der McGregor of Fayette — took part in the 
discussion, but the main debate was between 
Mr. Breckinridge and Mr. Murray. 

On the loth of November, 1798, the house 
came to a vote on the resolutions and adopted 
them without amendment. Just as they had 
been oft'ered by Mr. Breckinridge, they re- 
ceived the legislative sanction. There was but 
one vote against the entire series, and that was 
by Mr. Murray. One other member voted 
with Mr. Murray against the second, third, 
fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth resolu- 
tions, and two joined him in voting against 
the ninth. 

On the 13th of November, the resolutions 
were unanimously adopted by the senate, and 
on the 1 6th of the same month, were ap- 
proved by Governor Garrard. The legislature 
ordered one thousand copies to be printed and 
it is from a facsimile of one of these copies 
that the reproduction of these famous resolu- 
tions is made in this volume. In conformity 
with the act providing for the printing, fifty 
copies were delivered to the governor to be 
sent to the Kentucky members of congress 
and to the legislatures of the different states, 
while the remaining nine hundred and fifty 

copies were divided among the legislators for 

It was not long after the governor sent out 
these resolutions before responses began to 
come from the different state legislatures. 

The little state of Delaware was the first to 
take action upon the subject. On the ist of 
February, 1799, her legislature disposed of the 
subject in half a dozen lines which character- 
ized the resolutions, "As a very unjustifiable 
interference with the General Government and 
constituted authorities of the United States, 
and of dangerous tendency, and therefore, not 
a fit subject for the further consideration of 
the general assembly." 

The yet smaller state of Rhode Island came 
next in opposition. She declared that the au- 
thority to pass upon the constitutionality of an 
act of congress was vested in the judiciary de- 
partment of the government and that she 
deemed the Alien and Sedition laws in accord- 
ance with the constitution. Clearly right in 
the contention that the question was one for 
judicial consideration in the final analysis, it is 
somewhat amusing to observe the legislature 
which made that contention at once taking 
judicial notice of the question involved and 
deciding upon its constitutionality — in other 
words, usurping the authority of the tribunal 
to which it appealed. While technically cor- 
rect in stating that the issues involved were 
for final judicial declaration, there does not 
appear to be any constitutional inhibition 
against the legislature of any state declaring 
its views upon any act of the congress, as 
Kentucky had done in the Resolutions of 1798. 

Massachusetts followed Rhode Island. On 
the 9th of February, 1799, her legislature 
adopted quite a lengthy argument against the 
resolutions in which they took a position simi- 
lar to Rhode Island. While the latter had con- 
tented herself with briefly saying that she 
deemed the Alien and Sedition laws constitu- 
tional, Massachusetts made use of much logic 



to show that those acts were both authorized 
by the constitution and demanded by the exi- 
gencies of the times. She even argued the 
authority for them from the old common law 
and found in them a mitigation from the se- 
verity of that law. 

New York followed on the 5th of March, 
with a moderately long preamble and very 
short resolution denouncing the resolutions 
as "inflammatory and pernicious" and declar- 
ing her "incompetency as a branch of the 
legislature of this state, to supervise the acts 
of the General Government." 

In May, the legislature of Connecticut took 
action on the subject and showed that she re- 
garded the position taken by the resolutions 
against the Alien and Sedition acts as their 
most objectionable features. 

On the 14th of June. New Hampshire ex- 
pressed herself curtly against the resolutions 
and assuming a belligerent attitude, declared 
against the resolutions and putting on her war 
paint, somewhat ridiculously declared that she 
intended to defend the constitution of the 
United .States "against every aggression, either 
foreign or domestic." It does not appear to 
have occurred to the warlike New Hampshire 
statemen that the Kentucky Resolutions 
were a dignified and manly protest against a 
violation of that same constitution, to the de- 
fense of which they appeared to be at least 
legislatively inclined to fly to arms. The "rep- 
resentative from Bunkum" appears to have 
made an early appearance in the legislatures 
of the country and is by no means confined to 
any particular section. 

Vermont followed on the 30th of October, 
with a declaration against the resolutions in 
which she said: "It belongs not to state legis- 
latures to decide on the constitutionality of 
laws made by the General Government, this 
power being exclusively vested in the judi- 
ciary." Again it may be stated that this con- 
tention appears to be correct, but the right of 
petition is granted to the people by the consti- 

tution, and if they select to appeal through 
their legislature, for the repeal of laws deemed 
by them as obnoxious and unconstitutional, 
their action is within their rights and far more 
likely to receive the attention of the law-mak- 
ing body than a simple petition to congress, 
though the latter represents thousands of 
signers and be presented to the house or sen- 
ate by some man of distinction and then 
snugly tucked away in a committee room 
pigeon-hole, there to accumulate dust until 
the annual cleaning when it takes its way to 
the paper mill for rehabilitation. 

The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 were 
adopted one hundred and twelve years ago. 
They are still quoted today in the United 
States congress — in the highest courts of the 
country — and are recognized as a political 
classic, while the belligerent legislative states- 
men of New Hampshire, "dead and turned to 
clay, may serve to stop a crack and keep the 
winds away." 

These seven states were all that enacted for- 
mal resolutions antagonistic to those of Ken- 
tucky. An equal number of states — Pennsyl- 
vania, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, 
South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia main- 
tained silence on the subject. 

Virginia alone adopted resolutions similar 
to those of Kentucky ; so, that of her fifteen 
sister states, all that then existed, Kentucky 
had in response to her resolutions one avowed 
friend, seven open opponents and seven whose 
silence left conjecture to form such an opinion 
as it might as to their sentiments. Virginia 
however, was with Kentucky, and that was a 
mighty support. The Mother of States and 
of Statesmen had taken the first begotten of 
the republic by the tender hand and said 
"well done." What fear had young Kentucky 
of avowed enemies or doubtful mutes, when 
Virginia, with her wise statesmen and glorious 
memories, was with her ? The backwoods 
statesmen who had so often stood firm at the 
fierce sound of the rifle of the savage con- 


cealed in his native wilds, were not seriously lutions of 1798 couched in the genteelest Ian- 
frightened by the roar of the paper artillery guage they could command, and when answers 
tired at them from the distant seashore. They came that seemed rough for State papers they 
had greeted their polished brethren on the rejoined with the Resolutions of 1799, again 
sunny side of the mountains with their Reso- genteel, but firm and decisive. 


As TO Action of Other States — Text of 1799 Resolutions- 


-Nullification Clause — Su- 

Tlie legislature of 1799 assembled at Frank- 
fort on the 4th of November and by an over- 
whelming majority John Breckinridge, the 
mover of the resolutions of 1798, was elected 
speaker of the house. On the following day, 
Governor Garrard, after delivering his inaugu- 
ral address, sent to the legislature the answers 
which the diliferent states had made to the 
resolutions of 1798. It was, at first, thought 
best to take no fiuiher action upon these an- 
swers than to print eight hundred copies for 
distribution, which was done. Further reflec- 
tion, however, led to a different conclusion. 

On the 8th of November, therefore, the 
house resolved itself into a committee of the 
whole on the state of the commonwealth with 
Joseph Desha, the member from Mason, after- 
wards governor of the state, in the chair, when 
John Breckinridge otfered for adoption a pre- 
amble and resolution which he had drawn as a 
rejoiner to the answers of the different states. 
On the 14th of November, 1799, this preamble 
and resolution was unanimously adopted by 
the house precisely as they had been drawn 
and offered by Mr. Breckinridge, and after 
they had been concurred in by the senate and 
approved by the governor, went forth as the 
Kentucky Resolutions of 1799. Eight hun- 
dred copies were printed for distribution with 
the answers of the dift'erent states to the reso- 
lutions of 1798, and the following is a copy 
of these originals now in the possession of 
Col. R. T. Durrett of Louisville, to whom the 
author acknowledges his indebtedness there- 

for, as well as for the original resolutions of 
1798 prepared by Mr. Jefferson and Mr. 


"In the House of Representatives, 
"November 14, 1799. 
"The House according to the standing order 
of the day, resolved itself into a committee of 
the whole house on the state of the common- 
wealth, Mr. Desha in the chair, and after 
some time spent therein, the speaker resumed 
the chair and Mr. Desha reported that the 
committee had taken under consideration sun- 
dry resolutions passed by several state legisla- 
tures on the subject of the .Alien and Sedition 
laws anil had come to a resolution thereon 
which he delivered at the clerk's desk where it 
was read and unanimously agreed to by the 
house as follows : 

"The Representatives of the good people of this 
Commonwealth in General Assembly Convened, 
liaving maturely considered the answers of several 
States in the Union to their resolutions passed at the 
last session, respecting certain unconstitutional laws 
of Congress, commonly called the Alien and Sedition 
laws, would be faithless indeed to themselves and to 
those they represent, were they silently to acquiesce 
in the principles and doctrines attempted to be main- 
tained in all those answers, that of Virginia alone 
excepted. To again enter the field of argument and 
attempt more fully or forcibly to expose the uncon- 
stitutionality of these obnoxious laws would, it is 
apprehended, be as unnecessary as unavailing. We 
cannot, however, but lament that in the discussion 
of those interesting subjects, by sundry of the Legis- 
latures of our sister States, unfounded suggestions 




and uncandid insinuations, derogatory of the true 
character and principles of the good people of this 
Commonweahh, have been substituted in place of 
fair reasoning and sound argument. Our opinions 
on those alarming measures of the General Govern- 
ment, together with our reasons for those opinions, 
were detailed with decency and with good temper, 
and submitted to the judgment and discussion of our 
fellow citizens throughout the Union. Whether the 
like decency and temper have been observed in the 
answers of most of those States who have denied or 
attempted to obviate the great truths contained in 
these resolutions we have now only to submit to a 
candid world. Faithful to the true principles of the 
Federal Union, unconscious of any designs to dis- 
turb the harmony of that Union and anxious only 
to escape the fangs of despotism, the good people 
of this Commonwealth are regardless of censure or 
calumniation. Lest, however, the silence of this 
Commonwealth should be construed into an acqui- 
escence in the doctrines and principles advanced and 
attempted to be maintained by the said answers, or 
lest those of our fellow citizens throughout the 
Union who so widely differ from us on these im- 
portant subjects, should be deluded by the expecta- 
tion that we shall be deterred from what we con- 
ceive our duty, or shrink from the principles con- 
tained in these Resolutions, therefore : 

"Resolved, That this Commonwealth considers the 
Federal Union upon the terms and for the purposes 
specified in the late compact, as conducive to the 
liberty and happiness of the several States : That it 
does now unequivocably declare its attachment to 
the Union and to that compact agreeable to its 
obvious and real intention and will be the last to seek 
its dissolution: That if those who administer the 
General Government be permitted to transgress the 
limits fixed by that compact, by a total disregard to 
the special delegations of power therein contained, 
an annihilation of the State Governments and the 
erection upon their ruins of a general consolidated 
government will be the inevitable consequence. 

"That the principle and construction contended 
for by several of the State Legislatures that the 
General Government is the exclusive judge of the 
extent of the powers delegated to it, stop nothing 
short of despotism since the discretion of those who 
administer the Government and not the Constitution, 
would be the measure of their powers : That the 
several States who formed that instrument, being 
sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable 
right to judge of its infraction, and that a nullifica- 
tion by these sovereignties of all unauthorized acts 

done under color of that instrument is the rightful 
remedy : That this Commonwealth does, upon the 
most dehberate reconsideration, declare that the said 
Alien and Sedition laws, are, in their opinion, pal- 
pable violations of the said Constitution, and how- 
ever cheerfully it may be disposed to surrender its 
opinion to a majority of its sister States in matters 
of ordinary or doubtful policy, yet in momentous 
regulations like the present, which so vitally wound 
the best rights of the citizen, it would consider a 
silent acquiescence as highly criminal: That al- 
though this Commonwealth, as a party to the Federal 
compact, will bow to the laws of the Union, yet it 
does, at the same time, declare that it will not now, 
nor ever hereafter, cease to oppose in a constitu- 
tional manner, every attempt, from what quarter so- 
ever offered, to violate that compact, and finally, in 
order that no pretexts or arguments may be drawn 
from a supposed acquiescence in the part of this 
Commonwealth in the constitutionality of those laws,, 
and be thereby used as precedents for similar future 
violations of the Federal Compact, this Common- 
wealth does now enter against them its solemn pro- 

These resolutions, while firmly reasserting- 
those of 1798. contain the following nullifica- 
tion words not to be found in those of 1798: 
"That the several states who formed that in- 
strument, being sovereign and independent, 
have the unquestionable right to judge of its 
infraction and that a nullification by those 
sovereignties of all unauthorized acts done 
under color of that instrument, is the rightful 

This, however, is quite a different nullifica- 
tion from that of Mr. Jefferson, whose reso- 
lutions assert the right of a single state to 
nullify an act of congress, while those of Mr. 
Breckinridge lodge this power in all the 
states, subject to the constitution. The differ- 
ence is broad ; it is the difference between one 
and all ; the difference between one and many. 
In the debate upon the resolutions of 1798, 
Mr. Breckinridge took the ground that a ma- 
jority of the states might rightfully nullify 
an unauthorized act of congress. The nearest 
that he approached to the doctrine of nullifi- 
cation as asserted by Mr. Jefferson, was that 



a majority of the states, acting in their sover- 
eign capacity and exercising original powers 
not delegated to congress, might declare null 
and void an act of congress plainly unauthor- 
ized by the constitution and protect their 
citizens from its operation within their re- 
spective domains. And this seems to have 
been the Kentucky understanding of these 
resolutions, for it appeared from the answers 
that came from the different states, that 
nearly a majority had declared against the 
resolutions of 1798 instead of in favor of 
them, and that Virginia alone was in full 
sympathy with Kentucky. The resolutions of 
1799 ended with a solemn protest against the 
unconstitutional acts instead of providing for 
ordinances to nullify them and protect citi- 
zens from their operation. 

Ours is a constitutional government de- 
signed to be ordered at all times in accord- 
ance with an instrument made more than a 
century ago modified from time to time in 
solemn manner ; treated as a sacred thing 
born of deliberation hardly less inspired by 
infallible wisdom than were the writers of 
Holy " Writ. We maintain a ponderously 
learned body of men whose most sacred duty 
it is to keep us in the way of obedience to the 
constitution. It is seemingly assumed that to 
vary from the constitution is to commit the 
unpardonable sin. Our land has been wet 
with the precious blood of our own people 
because of this constitution. Sacred though 
it be, yet the people are strongly at variance 
in the construction of that instrument. 
Though the greatest civil war of all history 
has solved certain of its problems, there re- 
main yet others to ve.x and disturb the com- 
monwealth. Chief Justice Marshall, the 

greatest exponent of that instrument, is said 
by some learned in the law to have given 
vital form to the meaning of the Great Char- 
ter of our government. Others, great in their 
legal knowledge, have disagreed, they dis- 
agree today with the chief justice of the high- 
est court in Christendom. The very authors 
of that great instrument fell out among them- 
selves, as to the meaning of their act. The 
differences of their day are the dift'erences of 
today; will be the differences until time has 
passed away and the heavens are rolled to- 
gether like a scroll. It became the bond of 
union of the colonies with, in certain in- 
stances, a half-hearted acceptance by those 
who sacrificed their individual and separate 
political and national entity for the beautiful 
promises of federation. 

To some thoughtful ones our representative 
government has over it the shadow of failure, 
in that the people's representatives do not 
represent the people's good. The representa- 
tive should be not merely the mouthpiece of 
those by whom he is elected ; he should be 
their leader, their wise counsellor, their best 
friend, expert in public things, clean in his 
great office. Too often, he is not all this, but 
because he is not, none should despair of con- 
stitutional government. The system of our 
government is a true one, our constitution in 
the momentous contest of the War Between 
the States stood the test of the greatest con- 
flict known to modern ages and if, unhappily, 
it must meet yet other great tests, the hope 
and patriotic strength of the people will be 
about it as a buckler and a shield and it will 
emerge purified, it may be, by the fires of 
contest, but yet stronger and more beautiful 
for the perils through which it has passed. 


Kentucky's First Constitutiok — New Constitutional Convention — A Short Conven- 
tion, AND A Long — France Rejects American Ministers — Outrages on Amer- 
ican Shipping — Kentucky Divided in Sentiment — Washington Again Commander- 
in-Chief — American Naval Victories — Peace with Napoleon's Coming. 

The people of Kentucky, many of them at 
least, were not satisfied with the provisions 
of tlieir first constitution, as many of those of 
today are dissatisfied with the latest produc- 
tion of a constitutional convention which sup- 
plied the organic system under which the 
state today endeavors to advance in material 
interests, yet finds its steps clogged by the un- 
wise provisions of a crudely conceived and 
unwisely constructed instrument. It is no 
answer to this indictment to state that the 
people of the state at the polls approved of 
the new constitution by a majority of more 
than 130,000. The wonder is that the major- 
ity was not greater. The people of Kentucky 
were inclined to accept any constitution 
offered them, rather than have that conven- 
tion go back to Frankfort and again endeavor 
to evolve an organic law. They voted for our 
latest constitution in fear and trembling, hop- 
ing thus to escape a possibly worse fate. 
Those who think these words too strong are 
requested to study the provisions of the pres- 
ent constitution of Kentucky on the subject 
of taxation. 

But to return to the first constitution is a 
pleasing relaxation after considering the lat- 
est production the state has endured in that 
line. Under the provisions of an act of the 
legislature, the people in 1797 voted upon the 
question of calling a convention for the enact- 
ment of a new constitution. There were then 

twenty-one counties organized in the state. 
The vote in favor of a new constitution was 
9,814, for, and 440 against it; but as five 
counties made no returns, the requisite con- 
stitutional majority was not apparent and the 
proposition therefore failed. 

At the succeeding session of the legislature 
a bill providing for a second vote passed the 
house but was defeated in the senate. The 
people resented this action and demanded that 
at the ne.xt election they be given the right to 
express their views as to the calling of a con- 
vention. There was much discussion in the 
press and on the hustings. Kentuckians have 
long been noted for the tendency to have their 
opinions known of men ; they have never 
been proven guilty of the charge of reticence, 
but, to the contrary, have always, without 
fear or favor, informed the world of their 
opinions. So, in this matter of a second call 
for a convention there was much eloquence 
on the hustings and an enlarged discussion in 
the then meager press of the state. 

Under the first constitution, a body of 
electors, not the voters at large, chose the 
governor and also the members of the senate. 
The people, very naturally did not like these 
conditions. They had fought King George in 
the Revolution for the right to be represented 
by men of their own choice ; they had fought 
the Indian for the right to live in Kentucky, 
and they did not propose to have a small and 




select body of men say who should be their 
governor, or who should sit as their grave and 
reverend senators. 

Notwithstanding this sentiment, the vote in 
favor of a new constitution again failed to re- 
ceive the necessary majority, through ten 
counties failing to report the vote cast therein. 
The sentiment in favor of a convention, how- 
ever, was so strong that when the general 
assembly met, the necessary two-thirds ma- 
jority was received and authority was given 
for the assembling of a constitutional conven- 
tion which assembled July 22, 1799, with 
Alexander C. Bullitt, of Jefferson, as presi- 
dent and Thomas Todd as secretary. The 
new organic law provided that the governor 
should be chosen for a term of four years by 
a majority of the electorate at the polls, in- 
stead of by a small body of electors who also 
chose the senate. This latter body, it was 
provided, should be chosen by the people in 
twenty-four senatorial districts, an additional 
senator to be chosen for the three representa- 
tives who should be chosen above fifty-eight. 
After the first three years, the senators held 
their offices for four years as now. The gov- 
ernor's disapproval of an enactment of the 
general assembly, instead of being absolute, as 
imder the first constitution, could be overruled 
by a majority of each house, as is provided 
today. These changes were the most impor- 
tant made in the first instrument and after 
being in session but twenty-seven days, the 
Convention adjourned, declaring that the for- 
mer Constitution should remain in full force 
and effect until June i, 1800, on which date 
the second instrument was to become effect- 

A constitution written and adopted in 
twenty-seven days ! Evidently the absence of 
stenographers and a printing-press at imme- 
diate command, tends to shorten the work of 
statesmen who build organic structures. Ken- 
tucky has been known to suffer the infliction 
of a constitutional convention which assem- 

bled on September 8, 1890, and adjourned 
September 28. 1891. and which, during its 
sessions, filled four large volumes, the whole 
containing 6.480 pages, with what that body 
was pleased to term "discussion." And there 
have been criticisms of the work they turned 
out, notwithstanding the extended sessions 
and the continuous discussion on points both 
large and small. The day is perhaps not far 
distant when Kentucky will have a constitu- 
tion in keeping with the spirit of the age and 
which will attract, rather than repel, the atten- 
tion of those whose [presence and capital 
would add to the dignity and importance of 
the State. 

Reference has been made in preceding 
pages to the sympathy of the people with the 
Erench and to the formation in certain towns 
of what were called Democratic clubs. This 
sympathy was a natural one. La Eayette, a 
boy soldier of nineteen years, had left the 
sunny fields of Erance and the ease of an 
aristocratic circle, to suft'er amid the priva- 
tions of the Continental soldiers struggling 
for freedom : Rochambeau, with a French tleet 
of war vessels, had sailed up the James River 
and lent powerful physical antl moral support 
to General Washington when his ragged 
troops invested Yorktown and forced Corn- 
wallis to surrender. That the people should 
be kindly disposed to France was not only 
natural, but greatly to their credit. Then too, 
they did not look with approval on the treaty 
with England for which country they had not 
yet cultivated feelings of affection, remember- 
ing, as they did, the recent war and more than 
all else the atrocities of the Indian tribes in- 
cited thereto by the English commanders on 
the border. The bitter sentiment against 
England was as natural as was that of affec- 
tionate regard for France. Yet France was 
not behaving very nicely towards the United 
States. Incensed at the treaty with England, 
when Charles Pinckney succeeded James 
Monroe as Minister to that country, the 



French government haughtily refused to re- 
ceive him. An extra session of congress was 
called which assembled June 15, 1707. The 
president in his message referring to the 
speech of the president of the French direct- 
ory on the departure of Mr. Monroe, said : 
"Sentiments are disclosed more alarming than 
the refusal of a minister, because more dan- 
gerous to our independence and union, and, 
at the same time studiously marked with in- 
dignities towards the government of the 
United States." 

President Adams knew the meaning of war. 
Though not serving actively in the field dur- 
ing the Revolution, he had rendered service 
in the Continental congress which was of 
great value to the struggling soldiery follow- 
ing Washington through the sternest priva- 
tions and sulterings ever known to an army 
of that day, and only equalled afterwards by 
those which were so cheerfully endured by 
the ragged soldiers who starved and fought 
in the armies of the Confederacy. The presi- 
dent, earnestly desirous of peace with France, 
as with all the world, sent a commission com- 
posed of Messrs. Pinckney, Marshall and 
Gerry to France, with instructions to use all 
proper efforts towards peace. The French 
cabinet was yet in an inflamed state and re- 
fused to receive them. War seemed to be 
imminent. C)nly the greatest forbearance 
could prevent it. The country was in no con- 
dition for war, neither was it then, nor will it 
ever be, in a condition to avoid a war when 
insult and injury are heaped upon it. 

The French were committing tlepredations 
upon American shipping ; decrees from the 
French directory, subjected to seizure all 
American vessels carrying British goods or 
sailing from British ports. This decree was 
tantamount to a declaration of war by France. 
Congress passed an act suspending all com- 
mercial intercourse between the United States 
and France and the latter's possessions ; mer- 
chant vessels were ordered to be armed ; the 

president was authorized to increase the army 
and navy, placing each on a war footing. 

Kentucky was divided upon this vital ques- 
tion. The Republicans, or Democrats as they 
were now coming to be called, sympathized 
with the French and opposed the administra- 
tion of President Adams to whose election 
they had never become reconciled. The Fed- 
eralists, of course, supported Mr. Adams, 
who was of their number. 

The following resolutions were adopted at 
a meeting held at Lexington : 

"Resolved. That the present war with France is 
impolitic, unnecessary and unjust, inasmuch as the 
means of reconciliation have not been unremittingly 
and sincerely pursued, hostilities having been un- 
authorized against France by law, while a negotiation 
was pending. 

"Resolved, That a war with France will only be 
necessary and proper when engaged in {or the de- 
fense of our territory, and to take any part in the 
present political commotions in Europe will en- 
danger our liberty and independence, .^ny intimate 
connection with the corrupt and sinking monarchy 
of England ought to be abhorred and avoided." 

The people of Mason county in a far dif- 
ferent vein, presented an address to the presi- 
dent which brought grateful recognition. 
From that address these words are quoted : 
"We have seen with the anxiety inseparable 
from the love of our country, the situation of 
the United States under the aggressions of 
the French nation on our commerce, our 
rights and our sovereignty. As freemen, we 
do not hesitate ; we will rally around the 
standard of our country and support the con- 
stituted authorities. An insidious enemy shall 
in vain attempt to divide us from the Govern- 
ment of the United States, to the support of 
which against any foreign enemy we pledge 
our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor." 
Many other addresses of like character ac- 
companied that above quoted. However bit- 
ter might be political prejudice, one cannot 
conceive of a public meeting in the Lexington 
of today, failing to resent in the most forcible 



manner, an insult to our accredited minister 
or the unwarranted search of our merchant 
vessels by any foreign government under the 

In this gloomy hour when war with a peo- 
ple who had sympathized with and aided us, 
appeared no longer to be avoided, the eyes of 
the country turned with one accord to the 
shades of ]\Iount Vernon, and the sturdy old 
soldier, under whose leadership the people 
had won their freedom, was forced from the 
ease and retirement his years of service had 
justified him in claiming. His country called 
him and George Washington answering the 
call which . from his earliest years he had 
had never failed to hear, rode once more at 
the head of an American army as its com- 
mander-in-chief. France was expected to at- 
tempt an invasion of our country. True there 
had been no formal declaration of war upon 
the part of either government. 

While what might be termed the polite pre- 
liminaries to action had been omitted, the 
stern actualities had not been. February 19, 

1799, the United States frigate "Constitution" 
of thirty-eight guns, met and engaged the 
French frigate, "La Insurgent," of forty 
guns, capturing her after a spirited engage- 
ment in one hour. February i. 1800, the 
"Constitution" met the French ship, "La Ven- 
geance," of fifty-four guns, and after an ac- 
tion of five hours, the latter hastily withdrew 
having lost 160 of her men killed and 
wounded. Three hundred American mer- 
chant vessels were afloat and all were armed. 
The French had done much damage to our 
shipping, the war having been confined to the 

Napoleon's star now appeared. Becoming 
first consul, it was intimated to the United 
States that commissioners would now be 
received. Accordingly, Messrs. Murray, Ells- 
worth and Davis were appointed, proceeding 
in November, 1799, to France, but it was not 
until near the close of 1800 that a treaty be- 
tween the two countries was ratified and 
hostilities ceased. 


Cause of the Civil War — Slavery in Kentucky — Negroes as Freemen — Cruel Masters 
THE Exception — Kentucky's Anti-Slavery Sentiment — Baptists Oppose Slavery — 
Freed Slaves Sent to Liberia — Further Action by Churches — Birney and His 
Mission — Punishment of Slave Kidnappers — "The Old Lion of Whitehall" — For- 
tunate IN SeX' — "Kentucky in Liberia" — For and Against Slavery — Cassius M. 
Clay Again — Rev. Robert J. Breckinridge — New Constitution on "Free Negroes" — 
Emancipation of the South — Bere.\ College — Anti-Slavery Men Banished — 
Union Men Expel Abolitionists — Last Slave Sale in Kentucky — Irritating "Un- 
derground Railway" — Marriage of Slaves — The Dre.\ded "Patter Rollers" — Negro 
System of Communication — Selling Value of Slaves — Not Fighting for Slavery. 

A history of Kentucky must needs be also A gentleman from Kentucky crossing the 

Atlantic to England was approached by an 
English gentleman who asked : "Why were 
the north and the south fighting each other in 
your great war ?" "The answer is easy," re- 
plied the Kentuckian. "The New England 
states sent their slave vessels to Africa where 
they captured many unsuspecting natives, 
bringing them to America and enslaving them. 
The inhospitable climate of the eastern states 
was fatal to these people from the African 
shores, and many of them died from its sin- 
ister influences. The thrifty New Eng- 
landers, observing this, made haste to sell 
their slaves to the people of the warmer 
southern states, and later came down and 
made war upon those same people for buying 
them." The English gentleman appeared to 
be satisfied with the explanation offered and 
there are not lacking those today who accept 
it as correct. 

It is useful to remember that not until the 
eastern states had relieved themselves of an 
undesirable holding and filled the pockets of 
their people with southern gold in return for 
their slaves, did it appear to them that slavery 

a history, in part, of African slavery, the 
greatest curse that a free people ever imposed 
upon themselves. It is too late now to in- 
veigh against the people of New England 
who first introduced human slavery into the 
colonies and later embroiled the sections in a 
tremendous struggle for its abolishment. Say 
what statesmen may as to the causes for the 
war between the states, every one must, in the 
final analysis, admit that, had there been no 
slaves there would have been no war. The 
right of the states to regulate their own in- 
ternal affairs without the interference of the 
Federal government, was, of course, involved, 
but the discussion of that right grew out of 
slavery and but for slavery would never have 
been. Other questions were involved, but the 
great central question, about which discussion 
revolved, was that of slavery disguise the 
facts as we may. The southern states with- 
drew from the Union and fought gallantly 
for the right to regulate their own affairs ; a 
right which they believed then and now be- 
lieve, was guaranteed them by the constitu- 




was an unmixed evil, to be stamped out at any 
cost of blood and treasure. It is not intended 
here to make a plea for the enslavement of 
human beings, for the writer of these words 
never saw the day when he was an advocate 
of that "peculiar institution." He is a mere 
chronicler of facts as he sees them, setting 
them down as he believes correctly. In later 
pages, reference may be again made to this 
subject matter. 

For the present it is desired to refer more 
particularly to slavery as it existed in Ken- 
tucky in the early as well as the later periods, 
anterior to the war. This chapter and others 
which may follow, is largely made up as to 
statistics from a careful study of an article 
entitled "Slavery in Kentucky," published in 
the Lexington { Ky. ) Herald and written by 
an accomplished journalist, Mr. .Anderson 
Chenault Ouisenberry, now, and for many 
years, connected with the inspector general's 
office of the war department at Washington. 
Mr. Quisenberry, a native of Kentucky, a 
trained newspaper man, has given much 
thought to matters connected with the earlier 
history of the state, and the writer of this 
history has no hesitancy in accepting and 
quoting many of his conclusions as his own. 

When the first permanent settlement of 
Kentucky was made at Boonesborough in 
1775, slavery existed in every one of the col- 
onies which shortly after combined to form 
the United States of America. The first set- 
tlers at Boonesborough, as at other of the 
transient settlements, had negroes as slaves. 
The colonists who founded Boonesborough, 
while en route thereto, had an encounter with 
Indians in which William Twetty and his 
negro slave were killed. Thus slavery began 
at the very beginning of Kentucky, then a 
part of Mrginia, and continued until the close 
of the war of 1861-5. Its increase is shown 
by the census returns for i860, the last of 
such returns in which slavery was shown to 
e.xist as, when the census of 1870 was taken. 

there were no longer any negro slaves in tne 
United States, the proclamation of President 
Lincoln and the results of the war having 
combined to free the white people of the 
southern states of the dark incubus which 
had so long weighed them down and made 
them, as a matter of fact, the slaves of their 
own slaves. That this incubus in another 
form, is still upon them, it is not proposed to 
touch upon here. The census returns from 
1790 to i860, as above referred to, were as 
follows : 

.No. or 

Increase in 


Increase in 



I (J years. 


1 u years. 







































During the period above noted the white 
population of Kentucky ranged from 61,193 
in 1790 to 919,484 in i860, and a general 
average of colored to white population during 
all this period, was appro.ximately about one 
to five. In this period of seventy years the 
slave population had increased eighteen-fold 
and the free colored population had increased 
nearly one hundred fold, thus indicating that 
many people in Kentucky were freeing their 
slaves. It is an established fact that free 
negroes had very little natural increase since : 
having no longer the paternal care of their 
former masters and mistresses, their children 
the more readily succumbed to the diseases 
incident to childhood and found early graves. 
This being true, it may be assumed that a 
great majority of the 18,684 free negroes in 
Kentucky in i860, have been manumitted by 
their former owners. Kentucky did not await 
statehood, but began the freeing of her slaves 
while still a part of \'irginia west of the moun- 

It is probable that the first negro ever 



made a free man in Kentucky was Monk Es- 
till, a slave of Col. James Estill of Madison 
county. In 1782, in the battle known as 
"Estill's Defeat," which occurred on the 
ground where Mount Sterling is now situated, 
Colonel Estill, with twenty-five men, attacked 
a party of Wyandotte Indians by whom the 
slave. Monk Estill, was taken prisoner. In the 
thickest of the fight, Monk called out in a 
loud voice: "Don't give way, Marse Jim; 
there's only twenty-five of the Injuns and you 
can whip them." Colonel Estill was killed 
and his men retreated. The brave Monk es- 
caped from the Indians, joined his white com- 
rades and, on his stalwart shoulders, carried 
a wounded man twenty-five miles to Estill 
station. His young master promptly gave him 
his freedom and supported him in comfort 
during the remainder of his life. 

It has been well said that in the solitudes 
of the wilderness and the isolation of the 
early settlements, the innate longings for the 
society of human-kind made the companion- 
ship of the masters and their households with 
the colored slaves an essential condition to the 
contentment and happiness of both. The 
white and colored elements were thus pleas- 
antly blended in the household unit ; and, 
hence, while the relations were civilly and so- 
cially so distinct, they were mutually confid- 
ing and affectionate. The pleasant relations 
thus early established in pioneer days, contin- 
ued, as a rule, until slavery was happily no 
more, and to great extent, lingers yet among 
the descendants of those people — fifty years 
after slavery has ceased to be. 

Of course, there were some in Kentucky 
who were cruel to their slaves but these were 
the exception, not the rule. Irresponsible 
power over others develops whatever mean- 
ness there may be in the nature of those who 
possess that power. In many asylums for the 
insane ; for the orphan ; the almshouses, and 
similar institutions, flourishing in the centers 
of our civilization todav, may be found more 

cruelty and tyranny than was ever practiced 
by the most conscienceless master in Ken- 
tucky upon his slaves. The cruel and in- 
human master was ostracized and taught by 
the silent contempt of his neighbors a lesson 
which he seldom failed to heed. 

There is not lacking the testimony of for- 
mer slaves, to the conditions of their servi- 
tude in Kentucky. George Brown, a colored 
man, long a slave, was in the years following 
the freedom of his people, the senior member 
of a firm known as "George and Dan," the 
latter being also a former slave, who con- 
ducted a noted restaurant in Louisville fre- 
quented by the best people of the city and the 
state. Some years before his death. Brown 
published in the Winchester (Ky.) Democrat 
an extended sketch entitled "Recollections of 
an Ex-Slave." In this sketch, he commented 
lovingly upon the kindness of his former 
owner, Mr. Allen, and his family, to their 
slaves, and adds: "I would not have the 
reader suppose that this kindness and human- 
ity was peculiar to the Allen family for it 
was not ; for a constant endeavor to make 
slaves happy and comfortable was a feature 
common to many slave owners about Win- 
chester." The same may be truthfully said 
about everv town and county in Kentucky. 

Custom and usage invariably blunt the 
senses so that venerable wrongs are not recog- 
nized as such. In what one is born to and ac- 
customed to, and has accepted as a matter of 
course, one cannot, as a rule, see any wrong. 
So a great majority of Kentuckians in times 
past, could see no wrong in slavery. But 
there was always, from the beginning, an ele- 
ment in Kentucky respectable in num- 
ber and in every way, which recognized 
the wrong of slavery. Perhaps the most 
prominent of these was the elder Humphrey 
Marshall, Henry Clay, his fiery kinsman, Cas- 
sius M. Clay, James G. Birney, and Robert 
J. Breckinridge. 

Before Kentucky became a state, a political 



club was formed at Danville, then, as now, a 
cultured community. This club numbered 
twenty-nine of the most prominent men of 
that day in the district. The club debated all 
the important questions then before the coun- 
try. At a meeting held prior to the adoption 
by the states of the constitution of the United 
States, which was then before them for ratifi- 
cation or rejection, the club resolved that the 
clause of the proposed constitution which pro- 
vided that congress should pass no act pro- 
hibiting the importation of slaves prior to 
i8o8, should be expunged. The club was 
agreed that congress should deal with the 
odious business at any time and as soon as it 
saw fit to do so. 

The first constitution of the state distinctly 
showed a prejudice against the commerce in 
slaves. It ordained that they should not be 
brought into the state as merchandise and 
none were to be brought in that were imported 
into America subsequent to 1789. It was also 
recommended that the legislature should enact 
laws (which it did) permitting the emancipa- 
tion of slaves under the limitation that they 
should not become a charge upon the county 
in which they lived. Thus at the very begin- 
ning of the state the difficulties of the slavery 
problem were already vexing the minds of 
Kentuckians, busy as they were with their im- 
mediate and pressing needs. Rev. Daniel 
Rice, an eminent Presbyterian minister, was a 
member of this constitutional convention and 
advocated a resolution for the gradual ex- 
tinction of slavery. This resolution was not 
adopted but it had warm sympathy and sup- 

In 1798, the general assembly passed an act 
in which good treatment was enjoined upon 
the master, and all contracts between master 
and slave were positively forbidden. The 
execution of this law was within the jurisdic- 
tion of the county courts which were directed 
to admonish the master for any ill-treatment 
of his slave. If persisted in, the court had 

the option and the power to declare free the 
abused slave. Moderate chastisement, as in 
the punishment of children, was not con- 
sidered ill-treatment. Under this same law 
white men could be sold into temporary slav- 
ery for vagrancy, or for being without visible 
means of support and making no effort to bet- 
ter their condition. The whites thus sold were 
placed upon the same footing as the colored 
slave, but the purchase of a white vagrant by 
a colored person or an Indian was expressly 

As early as 1799, Henry Clay was an 
avowed advocate of the emancipation of slaves 
and the abolishment of the institution of slav- 
ery. There were many people then in the 
state who were averse to slavery from scru- 
ples of conscience, and from the conviction 
that it would prove a great social and political 
evil to the country. 

In 1804, a formidable movement against 
slavery was begun under the leadership of six 
prominent Baptist ministers : David Barrow, 
Carter Tarrent, John Sutton, Donald Holmes, 
Jacob Gregg and George Smith, together with 
several other ministers of less importance and 
a considerable number of Baptist laymen, the 
Baptist church at that time being the most 
infiuential church organization in the state. 
There was no mistaking the purpose of these 
men. None of the Abolitionists of later days 
were more outspoken or stronger of speech. 
They openly declared for the abolition of slav- 
ery, alleging that no church fellowship should 
be had with slave-holders, as in principle and 
practice slavery was a sinful and abominable 
system fraught with peculiar evils and mis- 
eries which every good man should condemn. 
These earnest men are known in the records 
of that time as "Emancipators" but they called 
themselves "Friends of Humanity." The Bap- 
tist Associations of the state adopted resolu- 
tions declaring it improper for ministers, 
churches or religious associations to meddle 
with the question of the emancipation of 



slaves or with any other pohtical questions. 
The "Emancipators" thereupon withdrew 
from the General Baptist Union, and in 1807 
formed an association of their own called 
"The Baptist Licking-Locust Association of 
the Friends of Humanity" but despite this for- 
midable title and the objects of their associa- 
tion, they accomplished nothing and soon 
ceased to be heard of. But they had marked 
the beginning of the outspoken opposition to 
slavery which had a slow but sure growth in 
the following years. x'Vt this time, slavery 
had become an interest and a sentiment in 
Kentucky too deep-rooted and entwined in 
every branch, and hber of the commonwealth 
to be dissevered and torn away by any means 
less than the horrors of the war that was to 
come to divide and distract Kentucky and 
send her valiant sons forth to meet each other 
in deadly strife upon the field of battle. 

Agitation of the slavery question was little 
heard of after the failure of the "Friends of 
Humanity" to reach any practical results, un- 
til 1833, when, on March 23d of that year, the 
Kentucky Colonization Society sent from 
Louisville to Liberia, Africa, 102 manumitted 
slaves from the counties of Logan, Adair, 
Bourbon, Fayette, and Mercer, paying $2,300 
for their passage in the brig "Ajax" from 
New Orleans. This same year the general 
assembly prohibited the importation of slaves 
into the state, except when brought by bona 
fide emigrants, or where they were inherited 
by actual residents of the state. 

In 1836, Rev. John C. Young, a distin- 
guished Presbyterian minister, in a pamphlet 
of sixty-four pages, made a strong argument 
for gradual emancipation. In this year, also, 
the Kentucky Annual Conference of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal church unanimously resolved 
against any interference with the subject of 
emancipation but at the same time, com- 
mended the rectitude, policy and operations 
of the American Colonization Society. 

July 31, 1837, "the Abolition press" of 

James G. Birney, was "carefully destroyed" 
as the chronicles of that period stated, at New 
Richmond, Ohio, on the north side of the Ohio 
river be it noted. James G. Birney was a na- 
tive of Kentucky, who was born at Danville 
in 1792, and who had the distinction of being 
the first candidate for the presidency of the 
United States on an anti-slavery ticket. In 
1833, he aided in the formation of the Ameri- 
can Colonization Society, of which he was 
chosen president, he being at the same time a 
professor in the faculty of Center College at 
Danville, Ky. Birney 's views were at first 
conservative, then progressive, and rapidly 
changed to anti-slavery of the most demon- 
strative kind. In 1834, in a letter addressed to 
the public, he advocated immediate emancipa- 
tion, at the same time illustrating his consist- 
ency by setting free his own slaves. He then 
removed to Cincinnati where he established 
The Philanthropist, a paper of a type which 
prudence prohibited him from publishing in 
Kentucky. So far in advance of the thought 
of the day, even in the free state of Ohio, was 
the Philanthropist, that, as has been stated, 
Birney's press was thrown into the river, but 
nothing daunted, with the courage of his con- 
victions, he revived the publication of his 
paper in connection with a Dr. Bailey who 
shared his views on the slavery question. 
Birney was first nominated for the presidency 
in 1840 by the Liberty, or Abolition, party, 
and a second time in 1844 by the same party. 
It is claimed by students of political history 
that at the election he drew from the Whig 
party enough votes to lose the state of New 
York to Mr. Clay, thereby causing the election 
of Mr. Polk to the presidency. Birney was 
"the voice of one crying in the wilderness," 
preaching a doctrine destined to lead to a 
dreadful war and to the signing, years after- 
wards, by another Kentuckian, of a proclama- 
tion of emancipation. Did he dream, as he 
saw his press and type sink beneath the waves 
of the Ohio in 1837 ^"^ the hopes of Mr. Clay 



for the presidency vanish into thin air in 1844, 
that in a few short years, though he would 
have passed to his fathers, the aim of his life 
would have been accomplished and freedom 
proclaimed for all men ? flow little men know 
in the midst of their struggles for a princi- 
ple, how wide-spread the effect of their ef- 
forts may become. 

In October, 1839, Rev. John B. Mahan. a 
citizen of Ohio, was indicted in Mason county, 
Kentucky, for kidnapping slaves. Governor 
\'ance of Ohio delivered him to the Kentucky 
authorities, on the requisition of Governor 
Clark, for trial in this state. At his trial, it 
was proven that fifteen slaves had passed 
through his hands, by what was known in 
those days as the "underground railway," but 
he was acquitted on the ground that the al- 
leged offense was committed in Ohio, and that 
the courts of Kentucky had no jurisdiction of 
offenses committed in other states. 

In the same year, ihe legislature exempted 
from taxation for public schools the property 
of free negroes, and adopted resolutions com- 
plimentary to the state of Illinois for the adop- 
tion by the legislature of that state of resolu- 
tions "condemning interference in the domes- 
tic institutions of the slave-holding states, 
either by congress or the state legislatures, as 
contrary to the compact by which those states 
became members of the Union, highly repre- 
hensible, unpatriotic and injurious to the peace 
and stability of the Union." In this same year 
the Ohio legislature passed an act, by a vote 
of twenty-three to eleven in the senate and 
fifty-three to fifteen in the house, providing 
punishment for the abduction or aiding in the 
abduction or escape of slaves by a fine not ex- 
ceeding $500. or imprisonment not exceeding 
sixt\- days, the culprit to be also liable to the 
aggrieved person for all damages, and a court 
of that state enforced this law in 1839 by con- 
victing and punishing Rev. John B. Mahan, 
the same man who had escaped conviction in a 

Kentucky court for a like offense for lack of 

In 1843. Wharton Jones, of Kentucky, ob- 
tained a judgement before Judge McLean and 
a jury in the United States circuit court at 
Cincinnati, against John \'an Zant of Warren 
county. Ohio, for $1,200 damages for having 
abducted his slaves. Another and like action, 
tried a few days later under the same penal 
statute, resulted in a fine of $500 being as- 
sessed against \'an Zant who was defended in 
each of these cases by Salmon P. Chase, then 
a young lawyer, but who was destined to play 
a great part in the future history of the coun- 
try, finally dying as chief justice of the su- 
preme court of the United States with un- 
satisfied ambition as his heart was set on the 
presidency as had been that of Clay. Webster, 
Calhoun, Blaine and other prominent men, 
who were destined never to reach that exalted 

One of Kentucky's sons who was to play a 
leading part in the agitation attendant upon 
the slavery cjuestion was Cassius M. Clay of 
Bourbon, a distant relative of Henry Clay. 
He was a fearless man, inperious, determined 
and able. In after years, he was known as 
"The Old Lion of Whitehall" the name of his 
estate. August i. 1843, while making an abo- 
lition speech at Russell's Cave in Fayette 
county. Mr. Clay was attacked by a man 
named Samuel ^1. Brown, who fired a pistol 
at him, the bullet striking him just beneath 
the fifth rib, where it was deflected by contact 
with a bowie-knife worn by the speaker whose 
life was thus saved. Mr. Clay returned 
Brown's attack, cutting him severely with his 
bowie-knife inflicting injuries from which it 
was thought he would die, but he finally re- 

June 4, 1845, Cassius M. Clay began at Lex- 
ington the publication of the True American, 
a newspaper in which he ably advocated the 
abolition of slavery. On August 14th of that 



year, at a meeting of citizens held at the court 
house in Lexington, Benjamin W. Dudley, 
Thomas H. Waters and John W. Hunt, were 
appointed as a committee "to wait upon Cas- 
sius M. Clay, editor of the True American, 
and to request him to discontinue its publica- 
tion, as its further continuance, in our judge- 
ment, is dangerous to the peace of our com- 
munity and to the safety of our homes and 
families." The meeting then adjourned to 
meet again on the following day and receive 
the report of its committee. 

To the committee's note, informing him of 
the action of the meeting. Mr. Clay, from a 
bed of sickness of more than a month's stand- 
ing, wrote a defiant and characteristic reply. 
No man ever drove Cassius M. Clay to do 
that which he did not wish to do. At the ad- 
journed meeting this reply was read, where- 
upon a call was issued "for a general meeting 
of the people of the city and county to be held 
on Monday, August i8th, at the court house, 
to take into consideration the most effectual 
steps to secure their interests from the ef- 
forts of abolition fanatics and incendiaries." 
.At this, which was presided over by Waller 
M. Bullock, with Benjamin Gratz as secre- 
tary, and attended by a large concourse of 
people from Fayette and the adjoining coun- 
ties, another communication was received 
from Mr. Clay and read to those assembled. 
Thomas F. Marshall, one of Kentucky's great 
orators, delivered an address setting forth the 
incendiary character of IMr. Clay's paper, at 
tlie conclusion of which he submitted six reso- 
lutions which were adopted. It was the sixth 
of these resolutions which was the important 
one, since it proposed and produced results. 
Under its provisions a committee of sixty 
prominent citizens was appointed and author- 
ized to proceed to the office of the True Amer- 
ican, take possession of the press and print- 
ing material, pack up the same, place it at the 
railroad office for transportation to Cincinnati 
and report forthwith to the meeting." 

Reaching the door of the office of the of- 
fending newspaper, the key to the door was 
given by the city marshal to the chairman of 
the citizens' committee. The mayor of the 
city was also present and gave notice to the 
members of the committee that they "were 
acting in opposition to law, but that the city 
authorities could offer no forcible resistance 
to them." The names of the committeemen 
were called and each of them was admitted to 
the office. "On motion of Major William Mc- 
Kee, it was resolved that the committee held 
itself responsible for anything which might be 
lost or destroyed whilst they were performing 
the duty assigned to them." Printers were 
appointed to take down the press and put up the 
type, the secretary making an inventory of the 
property as it was packed up. The desk 
containing Mr. Clay's private papers was, by 
unanimous resolution, sent to his home, and 
he was notified by letter, that the press, type 
and other paraphernalia of the True Ameri- 
can had been carefully put up and shipped by 
railroad and river steamer to Cincinnati, to 
the care of Messrs. January & Taylor, and 
that all charges and expenses had been paid. 

It will be observed that Mr. Clay received 
notice of the departure of his property, "by 
letter." That was the safest method of con- 
veying information to Mr. Clay when his feel- 
ings were ruffled. The committee of sixty 
was on September i8th following, arraigned 
before Judge Trotter of the Lexington city 
court, on a riot charge, the jury promptly re- 
turning a verdict of "not guilty." 

Among the sixty prominent men serving on 
this committee was George W. Johnson, of 
Scott county, who was to become the provis- 
ional governor of Kentucky under the Con- 
federate regime, twenty years later, and to fall 
on Shiloh's tlesperate field fighting bravely by 
the side of his Kentucky comrades. James B. 
Clay was another member of the committee. 
He was the son of Henry Clay, the real "Great 
Commoner," and afterwards a Democratic 



member of congress from the historic Ash- 
land district. Another was William R. Mc- 
Kee, who, a few years later, was to fall at the 
head of the regiment of Kentuckians whom 
he commanded at the battle of Buena Vista, 
during the War with Mexico. 

In 1845, Miss Delia A. Webster of Ver- 
mont was arrested and confined in the jail at 
Lexington charged with abducting slaves and 
aiding in their escape across the Ohio river. 
The proof against her was absolute, and her 
conviction and sentence to the penitentiary for 
a term of two years followed. But she was a 
woman and the jury, with characteristic Ken- 
tucky recognition of the sex, unanimously 
signed a petition addressed to Governer Ows- 
ley praying that he pardon her. After she had 
spent a short time in quiet meditation in the 
prison, a pardon was granted, and Miss Web- 
ster returned to her home, doubtless impressed 
with the danger attendant upon interference 
with the affairs of other people. Her com- 
panion and accomplice, Rev. Calvin Fairbanks, 
was less fortunate, and received a sentence of 
fifteen years in the penitentiary. These peo- 
ple were doubtless very honest, good people, 
who thought they were rendering service to 
God and humanity. As a matter of fact, they 
were merely fanatics and were really injuring 
rather than aiding, the cause in which they 
had enlisted. 

In October, 1845, Rev. Alexander M. 
Cowan, agent of the Kentucky Colonization 
Society, collected $5,000 with which to aid in 
purchasing a district forty miles square in 
Africa, to be called "Kentucky in Liberia," as 
a home for colored colonists from Kentucky. 
The first freed slaves for the proposed colony 
left Louisville January 7, 1846. This Liber- 
ian experiment has not proven a success, nor 
yet wholly a failure. At a comparatively re- 
cent date the government of the United States 
was listening to appeals for assistance from 
residents and ofEcials of the Negro Republic. 
The negro supplies a problem wherever he 

may be, and the wisest statesmanship has not 
yet answered the question of what shall be 
done with him. In the absence of a final so- 
lution, the experiment of letting him alone is 
suggested to the selfish politicians who have 
exploited him for their own ends. 

On the night of August 5, 1848, thirteen 
slaves escaped in a body from Mason county, 
crossing the river into Ohio. At about the 
same time forty-two slaves from Fayette and 
Bourbon counties attempted to escape. In an 
effort to capture them, which was made in 
Bracken county, resistance was shown and 
one of them shot and dangerously wounded 
one of the white pursuers named Charles H. 
Fowler. The negroes scattered, but all were 
finally captured. It is interesting to note 
that one of these negroes was the slave of 
Cassius M. Clay, who failed to practice what 
he preached in his newspaper. The leader of 
this party was a white man named Patrick 
Doyle, who had bargained to take each of 
them to a place of safety for $10 each. He 
was arrested, taken to Lexington, tried and 
sentenced to twenty years imprisonment for 
enticing away slaves. 

On February 3, 1849, the Kentucky house 
of representatives, by a unanimous vote, 
adopted a resolution declaring "that we, the 
representatives of the people of Kentucky, are 
opposed to the abolition of slavery in any 
form or shape whatever, except as now pro- 
vided for in the constitution and laws of the 
State." This resolution, however, was not 
adopted by the senate. 

On February 12, 1849, ^^ enthusiastic 
emancipation meeting was held in Maysville 
and on the following day, a similar meeting 
was held in Louisville. These meetings were 
the beginning of an earnest and exciting con- 
test for the election of delegates to a conven- 
tion to revise the constitution of the state and 
the gradual emancipation of the slaves formed 
for months the leading topic of public, private 
and newspaper discussion. On February 23, 



1849, the law of 1833 was amended by the 
legislature and thereafter the purchase and 
bringing into the state of slaves purchased 
elsewhere was no longer prohibited. 

In April, 1849, a State Emancipation con- 
vention, in session at Frankfort, recommended 
that the following points be insisted upon in 
the new constitution, and that candidates fa- 
vorable to them or similar provisions, be 
named in each district entitled to elect dele- 
gates to the Convention of Revision, viz. : 
(i) The absolute prohibition of the importa- 
tion of any more slaves into Kentucky; (2) 
The complete power to enforce and perfect, 
whenever the people desire it, a system of 
gradual and prospective emancipation of the 

On May 11, 1849, Elder Alexander Camp- 
bell, of Bethany, Virginia, founder of the 
Church of the Disciples, in his paper The 
Millennial Harbinger, addressed a tract to the 
people of Kentucky, favoring emancipation. 

July 15, 1849, Cassius M. Clay, who, as has 
been seen, had not manumitted his own slaves, 
while making an address in favor of the aboli- 
tion of slavery at Foxtown, in Madison 
county, was attacked by Cyrus Turner whom 
he killed with a bowie-knife, being, himself, 
dangerously wounded. Mr. Clay, however 
slow he may have been in putting into effect 
the doctrines which he preached when they 
affected his own personality, was a brave man 
and stood ever ready to defend his theories 
and his person against all adversaries no mat- 
ter whence they came. It was an interesting 
feature of his long and active career as a pri- 
vate citizen ; agitator for the abolition of slav- 
ery ; Major General of Volunteers in the War 
between the States, and minister to Russia — 
that in 1880, he actively and eloquently can- 
vassed the state of Kentucky in the interest of 
the Democratic party and its candidate for the 
presidency. Gen. W. S. Hancock. 

General Clay was a fine old gentleman of 
the olden school — irascible, pugnacious, and 

ever ready for a discussion or an encounter, as 
best suited his adversary. He won fairly the 
title by which he was best known in the declin- 
ing years of his life. He was "The Old Lion of 
Whitehall" in fact as well as name ; and there 
are none to follow after, as the great question 
which engaged every sentiment of his heart 
and nerved his mighty arm in conflict, has 
been settled forever and no longer needs a 
cnampion. He was a man. No other epitaph 
so well suits him. 

Rev. Robert J. Breckinridge, a militant 
Presbyterian minister, able, eloquent and fear- 
less, as a Breckinridge should be, and has 
always been, was a candidate on the Emanci- 
pation ticket in Fayette county for a seat in 
the constitutional convention. He made an 
active canvass but failed of election by a few 
votes. Dr. Breckinridge believed that the 
highest economy and noblest humanity de- 
manded the emancipation of the slaves ; not 
suddenly and by violence, but gradually and 
guardedly ; with some opportunity for educa- 
tion and business training and husbanding of 
wages to prepare them • for advantageous 
colonization in the new Republic of Liberia, 
the home of what it was hoped would be com- 
plete freedom for the African. Emancipation 
candidates were offered in nearly every legis- 
lative district of the state, but, though the ag- 
gregate vote for them was large, with a single 
exception, they were all defeated. 

Though it has no direct connection with the 
subject of this chapter, yet it is not out of 
place, in view of after events, to state here 
that on January 14, 1850, the general assem- 
bly of Kentucky requested the governor to 
cause a block of Kentucky marble to be placed 
in the monument to General Washington, at 
Washington, D. C, with this inscription: 

"Under the auspices of Heaven, and the 
precepts of Washington, Kentucky will be the 
last to give up the Union." 

This block of marble, with the inscription, 
forms a part of the stately monument to 



George Washington which stands upon the 
banks of the Potomac, as a testimonial of the 
esteem in which the Father of his Country 
was held by the people to whom he gave free- 
dom from the tyranny of kings. 

The new constitution having become effec- 
tive without the embodiment of the theories 
of the Emancipationists, the general assembly 
on February 21, 1851, declared that "slaves 
hereafter emancipated must leave the state, 
and any free negro returning to or coming 
within the state and remaining over thirty 
days is to be arrested, charged with a felony 
and, on conviction, punished by confinement in 
the penitentiary not longer than one year." 
This stringent enactment was a logical result 
of the strenuous agitation in the northern 
states for the abolition of slavery, and a fore- 
runner of the deadly conflict which ten years 
later was to find the sections arrayed against 
each other in a war which attracted the atten- 
tion of the civilized world and wrote into the 
history of the United States the bloodiest 
chapter in the annals of all time. 

At the ensuing August election, the first 
held under the provisions of the new constitu- 
tion, Cassius M. Clay, the Emancipation can- 
didate for go\ernor, received 3,621 votes, 
about three per cent of the total vote cast. In 
the presidential election in the succeeding No- 
vember, John P. Hale of New Hampshire, the 
Abolition candidate for president, received 265 
votes in the state, the total vote cast being 
101,139. It will be observed that the vote for 
Hale for president was far below that cast for 
Clay for governor at the preceding August 
election. There were evidently many Eman- 
cipationists who were opposed to the imme- 
diate freeing of the slaves, as demanded by 
the fanatics who did so much towards bring- 
ing on the war which speedily followed. 
While the people of Kentucky, at that time, 
opposed the agitation of the vital question of 
slavery, it is gratifying to recognize that there 
is, in all the state, today, no right-minded per- 

son who would have slavery rehabilitated. As 
is stated elsewhere in this work, it was the 
master and not the slave, who was really made 
free by the Emancipation Proclamation. The 
rehabilitated south, despite the ravages of 
war and the horrors of Reconstruction, is 
richer and happier today than ever before in 
its history, the sons of the men of 1861-5, hav- 
ing as bravely as their forebears, fought an 
industrial battle against fearful odds and won 
in every conflict. 

Berea College, located in Madison county, 
was established in 1855, by Rev. John G. Fee, 
Rev. James S. Davis, John G. Hanson, and 
others who were instructors in the institution, 
aided by Cassius M. Clay and others opposed 
to slaverv. This college, founded largely upon 
contributions made by people in the northern 
states, though some of the funds were raised 
in Kentucky, was mainly intended for the 
education of free negroes of both sexes. It 
was obnoxious to the people of Kentucky be- 
cause it also received white students. This 
admixture of white and colored students was 
contrary to the opinions of a vast majority of 
the people, who viewed it as a long step to- 
wards a social equality of the races, deprecat- 
ed in the north quite as much as in the south. 
Years after the foundation of this college, the 
general assembly of Kentucky enacted a law 
prohibiting the coeducation of the two races. 
The authorities at Berea appealed to the 
courts, seeking to have the law declared un- 
constitutional. The cause finally reached the 
supreme court of the United States for decis- 
ion and the Kentucky enactment was sus- 
tained. The two races are no longer asso- 
ciated ; there being separate institutions now 
for white and colored students, antl the un- 
popularity of the institution is now a thing of 
the past. 

Berea has done a great work for the poor 
children of the mountains of Kentucky, many 
of whom have come to it for that scholarly 
training elsewhere denied them by reason of 



their poverty. Now that its only objection- 
able feature has been ehminated, there seems 
no reason why it should not advance in its 
good work of shedding light into the dark 
places of the mountains where only education 
is needed to make the sturdy Anglo-Saxons of 
Kentucky's Highlands, the equals of any peo- 
ple in any land. 

On May 8, 1855, fifty-two emancipated 
slaves from Kentucky sailed from Boston for 

In the presidential election of 1856, John C. 
Fremont, Republican candidate for president, 
received in Kentucky 314 votes out of 133,214 
votes cast. What changes time has wrought 
in the half century since that election. 

October, 1859, the Louisville Conference of 
the Methodist Episcopal church, South, in ses- 
sion at Hopkinsville, after an exciting debate, 
voted to expunge from the general rules of 
the church the rule forbidding "the buying and 
selling of men, women and children with an 
intention of enslaving them." It was upon 
the question of slavery that the division of the 
Methodist church in the United States was 
brought about, with the resultant northern and 
southern jurisdictions. At this day, when 
there is none to raise his voice in favor of 
human slavery, it is a matter for wonder that 
this division should continue to exist. 

On January 2, i860, when the dark clouds 
of impending strife were already in the polit- 
ical skies, a public meeting in Madison county, 
peremptorily required the Rev. John G. Fee, 
the Rev. Jaiues G. Davis, John G. Hanson 
and others to leave that comity on account of 
their anti-slavery teachings and principles. It 
is to be noted that Cassius M. Clay was not 
ordered to quit Madison county, though he 
was one of the ablest and most vehement of 
the opponents of slavery in the state. Had he 
been so ordered, he would not have gone, and 
there would have been much work for the un- 
dertaker and the coroner had any one at- 
tempted to enforce such an order. The action 

of the Madison county meeting was approved 
at a similar public meeting held in Mason 
county on January 21st, when the Rev. James 
S. Davis was peremptorily admonished to 
leave Kentucky within seven days. A like 
meeting held in Bracken county, resolved that 
the Rev. John G. Fee and John G. Hanson, 
lately expelled from Madison county and then 
about to locate in Bracken county, were "en- 
emies to the state and dangerous to the secur- 
ity of our lives and property." These men 
were solemnly admonished to leave the county 
and state by the ensuing February 4th, and a 
committee of fifty prominent citizens was ap- 
pointed to see that the order was obeyed. 
About a month later, there was great excite- 
ment in Madison county on account of the re- 
turn to Berea of John G. Hanson. A move- 
ment to compel him to leave the state was re- 
sisted by his friends and several men were 
wounded in the affair. A mill belonging to 
Hanson was destroyed. 

It is not a pleasant duty to recall these 
facts, but they are a part of the distressful 
history of the state and there seems no good 
reason why they should be eliminated from 
these pages. Fanaticism in certain northern 
states, had become so powerful and 
threatening that the people of the south- 
ern states saw the hideous spectre of 
servile insurrection threatening the lives 
of the women and children, and it was 
the dread of this, rather than the loss of their 
property rights, that prompted such action as 
has been herein noted. That such a fate was 
really impending none will doubt who recall 
the attempt of John Brown of Kansas, to in- 
augurate an insurrection at Harper's Ferry, 

President Lincoln in his inaugural address, 
March 4. 1861, said "I declare that I have no 
purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere 
with the institution of slavery in the states 
where it exists. I believe I have no lawful 
right to do so and I have no inclination to do 



so." Little did he know as he spoke those 
words, of the storm soon to break upon the 
country and to cause him to reverse his ut- 
terance and sign the Emancipation Proclama- 
tion which in reality made free the slave- 
owner along with his slave. 

On September 12, 1862, when the war had 
been in progress for more than a year, Union 
men in Bracken county, expelled John G. Fee 
from the state for preaching abolitionism. 
They ferried him across the Ohio river and 
threatened to hang him should he return to 

While these Union men were following 
this drastic course, the Confederate forces un- 
der General Bragg, with whom they had no 
sympathy, occupied the greater part of the 
state, and but a few days after the holding of 
the meeting, the Home Guards of Bracken 
county, fought a spirited contest with the Con- 
federate forces under command of Gen. Basil 
W. Duke at Augusta, in which many were 
killed and wounded. Among those killed on 
the Confederate side was Courtland Prentice, 
the gallant young son of George D. Prentice, 
editor of the Louisville Journal, which paper 
was a very tower of strength to the cause of 
the Union in Kentucky. Mr. Prentice had 
but two sons, and the division of families by 
the exigencies of war, was illustrated by the 
service of each of them in the Confederate 
army, while their honored father fought with 
ready pen, the battle for the Union. 

During 1862 many slaves in Kentucky left 
their owners and took refuge in the camps of 
Federal soldiers. On January i, 1863, Presi- 
dent Lincoln issued his proclamation freeing 
the slaves "in the states now in rebellion." 
This did not apply to Kentucky which was 
construed as loyal to the Union, though many 
thousands of her sons were in the Confeder- 
ate army, and her senators and representatives 
sat in the congress of the Confederate states. 
But the proclamation practically destroyed 
slavery in Kentucky. On March 2, 1863, 

the state legislature composed almost entirely 
of Union men, declared that negroes claiming 
freedom under the Proclamation must not 
remain in the state, but the enactment was of 
little effect. Those who wished to leave did 
so; those who did not, remained, finding pro- 
tection in the Federal camps. 

On December 30, 1863, the last sale of 
slaves ever held in Kentucky, occurred in 
Louisville, when some person or persons, un- 
able or unwilling to read the signs of the 
times, paid for a man of 28 years, $500; for a 
boy of II years, $350; and for two women of 
18 and 19 years, $430 and $380 respectively. 
Money was plentiful in those days, and there 
have been fools from the very beginning of 
civilized man. After this sale there was no 
longer a thought of another, since any slave 
desiring his freedom had but to walk away 
from his home and into a camp of Federal 

If such an anomaly as mild slavery can ex- 
ist, it had its home in Kentucky as was illus- 
trated by the fact that many thousands of 
slaves remained C]uietly on their master's 
homes, and went about their daily tasks as 
though there were no hands beckoning them 
to freedom — and poverty, and distress. Not 
until the war had ended, and in many in- 
stances not even then, did these faithful ser- 
vants renounce the allegiance to "old Marster" 
and "old Miss" to which they were born and 
to which they had loyally lived. It is a mat- 
ter of painful regret that the faithful colored 
servitor of the old days, loyal to himself and to 
the white family he was proud to serve, is 
passing rapidly away, and that no successor is 
found among his race today. The most un- 
bending aristocrat that ever lived in any 
land was the colored "mammy" of the families 
of Kentucky who owned broad acres and 
many slaves. No man was good enough to 
marry her "young miss" or "honey" as she 
called her; no young woman whose family 
owned fewer acres and slaves, was a fit mate 



for the boy she had nursed in infancy, spoiled 
in his later years, and worshipped always. 
There was something charming and attrac- 
tive in those old days and those who are old 
enough to recall that patriarchial era, regret 
their passing, while, at the same time, giving 
thanks that human slavery has passed for- 
ever from the land. 

One of the anomalies of legislation was il- 
lustrated by the Kentucky legislature in Feb- 
ruary, 1864, when that body, unanimously in 
favor of the Union, re-enacted the law pro- 
hibiting the importation of slaves into Ken- 
tucky as merchandise. There was no place 
from which to import them ; no one who de- 
sired to bring them into the state. The ways 
of the average legislature are past finding out. 
This same legislature also protested against 
the enlistment of Kentucky negroes into the 
army, and requested the president to remove 
the camps of negro soldiers from the state. 
This request was, of course, ignored, and ac- 
tive recruiting of negroes went on. More than 
20,000 negro soldiers were recruited in the 
state and credited — not to Kentucky, but to 
Rhode Island, Connecticut, ]\Iassachusetts and 
other eastern states. 

In the presidential election of 1864, Mr. 
Lincoln received 27,786 votes out of a total 
vote of 92,087. There were many persons in 
Kentucky in those days, who found it con- 
ducive to life, liberty and the pursuit of hap- 
piness, to remain away from the polls. This 
accounts for the small total of votes cast. 

The foregoing, it is believed, is a fair and 
correct account of the more important events 
connected with slavery in Kentucky. Some 
general remarks upon a subject which entered 
so largely into the greatest of all civil wars 
may not be inappropriate. 

In the decade from 1840 to 1850, the activ- 
ity of the Abolition party in the north became 
very great. All along the Ohio river were 
stations for rescuing slaves and conveying 
them to places of safety beyond the border. 

The number of slaves who escaped in this 
way was relatively small — perhaps a few hun- 
dred each year — but the effect upon the minds 
of the people were out of proportion to the 
producing cause. The truth is, as has been 
stated more than once herein, that the slaves 
in Kentucky were not generally suffering from 
any bonds that weighed heavily upon them. 
There were minor exceptions; a few masters 
were not kind to their slaves, but these men 
suffered a social ostracism which tended to 
reduce their ranks and to a kinder treatment 
of their dependent servants. Slavery in Ken- 
tucky was of the domestic sort ; that is, it was 
to most of the slaves not a grevious burden to 
bear. This is well shown by the fact that 
thousands of them quietly remained with their 
masters in the counties along the Ohio river 
when, on any night, they might have escaped 
across the border. Still, the "underground 
railway" system, as it was called, although it 
did not lead many slaves to freedom, pro- 
foundly irritated the minds, of the owners, and 
even those who did not own slaves. Accom- 
panied, as was this work of rescuing slaves, by 
a violent abuse of slaveholding, it destroyed in 
good part the desire to be rid of the institu- 
tion which had grown on the soil, and gave 
place to a natural though unreasonable deter- 
mination to cling to the system against all out- 
side interference. Towards the end, the laws 
concerning slavery grew more rigid because 
of this interference by persons actuated by 
sentiment in some instances ; by ignorance in 

The rights accorded to the slaves from the 
initial settlement of Kentucky, if lost to them 
at a later date, were lost because of the fear 
of servile insurrection, rapine and murder as 
a resultant of the agitation kept alive by those 
who regarded slavery as a crime and any 
means tliat might be employed for its destruc- 
tion, as legitimate. While seeking to destroy 
slavery, they were really adding to the burden 
of the slave and inducing in the slaveholding 



states the enactment of laws clinching more 
tightly the bonds borne by the slave. It is 
fair to assume the honesty of purpose actuat- 
ing these people, however much their plans 
and efforts may be decried. The world will 
never forget that it was New England that in- 
troduced slavery into the colonies and kept 
alive the slave trade until it was found that 
the bleak climate of the North Atlantic coast 
was unfitted to people born under the scorch- 
ing sun of the equator. When this fact was 
borne in upon them, they ceased to exchange 
New England rum for African slaves and 
made haste to dispose of those whom they 
held to the people of the more genial south- 
ern clime. It was not until they had thus 
shifted the burden of slavery from their own 
shoulders that they discovered what a crime 
against nature was slavery. The agitation 
against what was known as "the peculiar in- 
stitution" was continued until nothing could 
withstand it and the direful effects of war 
alone destroy it. 

There was no legal provision for the mar- 
riage of slaves. In some instances they were 
married, without licenses, by preachers of 
their own race. In other and in most in- 
stances, they merely "took up" with each 
other without the formality of a clerical cere- 
mony. This loosely assimied tie was fre- 
quently maintained until the death of one of 
the parties, a deep-seated affection existing 
between the persons thus irregularly joined in 
matrimony. Slaves, in the sight of the law, 
could own no property, but many of them, by 
"hiring their time" from their masters, did 
accumulate small properties in the possession 
of which they were protected by their owners. 

Most of the slaves in Kentucky were, by 
nature, amiable, affectionate and faithful. 
There were many instances of their fidelity to 
their masters and their families, which the his- 
tory of the world could scarcely equal even 
between friends and equals, much less be- 
tween masters and slaves. The slaves of the 

few "hard masters" would occasionally "run 
away" but after a few weeks absence would 
voluntarily return, take their punishment and 
fall again into the performance of their for- 
mer tasks. 

Generally speaking, slaves were allowed a 
great deal of liberty. However, when emis- 
saries from the north became unusually active 
in the state the privileges of the slaves were 
necessarily abridged and restricted, as it was 
the current belief that these emissaries were 
bent upon stirring up strife among the slaves 
and inciting them to an insurrection in which 
the chief feature was to be an indiscriminate 
slaughter of white men, women and children. 
In those days a system of mounted patrols 
was instituted. These patrols rode about the 
country at night, on the highways and by- 
ways and through the plantations and woe be- 
tide the slave who was caught abroad at night 
without a written "pass" from his master. 
The negroes had a deadly fear of these night- 
riders whom they called "patter-rollers" and 
about whom they had a song which ran some- 
thing like this : 

"Over the fence and through the paster, 
Run nigger, run, oh run a little faster, 

Run, nigger run, 
The patter-roller ketch you." 

Like the savage Indians, the negroes had a 
marvelous system of inter-communication 
which no white man has ever fathomed. They 
got information concerning themselves almost 
as rapidly as the telephone would furnish it 
today. Almost every night one could hear a 
colored man in the woods or along a road, 
when the patrol was not near, mournfully 
chanting the "hoola" song, which would be 
taken up by another perhaps a mile distant 
and again chanted, while another and another 
would repeat it in every direction until the 
night became vocal with the mournful sound 
of that distressing and monotonous refrain : 



"Hoola, hoola, hoo, 

Hoola, hoola, hola-hoola hoo." 

That was all there was of the strange song, 
if song it may be called, which was repeated 
over and over again, indefinitely. It may have 
been a chant brought from Africa by their an- 
cestors. It was believed by many to be a 
means of communication between the slaves. 
Whatever it may have been or meant, it is a 
fact that no one has heard it chanted since the 
colored people became free. 

The selling values of slaves, though small, 
comparatively, at the beginning of the state, 
gradually grew larger until the beginning of 
the War Between the States and the near 
prospect of emancipation gradually brought 
the values down to nothing. In 1785, a slave 
of Francis \'igo of Louisville, was hanged 
for stealing and the court fixed his value at 
$400, which was paid. The common law of 
England then obtained in the state, under 
which generous and liberal law a young Eng- 
lish girl was hanged for the alleged theft of 
an article valued at less than six shillings. In 
Collins' "History of Kentucky," a citation is 
made of the sale in 1855 o^ seven negro men 
at prices ranging from $1,070 to $1,555, the 
average price being $1,243. The usual price 
for healthy men, neither too old nor too 
young, was about $1,000 for a number of 
years before the war. George Brown, who, 
for many years, was a noted colored caterer 
of Louisville after the war, and to whom ref- 
erence has before been made, and who pub- 
lished his interesting "Reminiscences" of the 
days of his slavery, states that in 1857 the 
guardian of his young mistress refused an 
offer of $2,100 for him, merely because he 
was not willing to be owned by the man who 
wanted to buy him. Some years afterwards, 
when all he had to do to obtain his freedom 
was to take it, George Brown "bought him- 
self" for $1,000 because he did not think it 
honorable for him to "swindle his voung mis- 

tress out of her slave." And he paid her the 
$1,000, too, from money wliich he honorably 
earned. George Brown was "a gentleman in 
ebony" and consequently an honest man. 

It has been a favorite taunt from certain 
sources that the south went into the war be- 
cause she did not want to lose her slaves. 
This is not true of the south as a whole, and it 
is particularly not true of Kentucky. The 
Kentuckians who fought in the Confederate 
army, and there were many thousands of 
them, had no thought of the perpetuation of 
slavery; many of them had never owned a 
slave and had no expectation of ever owning 
one. Many of them considered slavery mor- 
ally wrong, among them the writer of these 
words, and they would have been glad to see 
it abolished at any time by any proper means. 
On the other hand, many of the most promi- 
nent Union men in the state and all of the 
prominent men of Kentucky who served in 
the Union army, were slave-holders. Gen. 
Cassius M. Clay, the most prominent advo- 
cate of the abolition of slavery within the 
state, was a slaveholder and continued to own 
slaves until the Emancipation Proclamation 
and the subsequent amendments to the con- 
stitution set them free. 

After nearly fifty years without slavery, 
it is now a surpassing wonder why anyone in 
Kentucky ever wished to perpetuate the in- 
stitution ; for, aside from the moral and hu- 
manitarian side of the question, it was eco- 
nomically considered, wasteful and profitless 
as a system of labor. Farms which required 
thirty slaves for their cultivation are now, 
with the aid of modern invention, cultivated 
equally well by four or five men. Under the 
old system, the program was to use negroes to 
raise corn to feed to hogs to feed to negroes 
who raised more corn to feed more hogs, and 
so on ; the problem continuing in a circle which 
it fatigues the mind to contemplate. 

Donn Piatt, a genius of Ohio birth, said of 
President Lincoln : "He well knew that the 



north was not fighting to liberate slaves, nor 
the south to perpetuate slavery." The ques- 
tion at issue in this great struggle was whether 
ultimate sovereignty rested in the individual 
states or in the central Union, slavery being 
the ostensible incident which had brought the 

issue to the test of war. In the mighty con- 
test which ensued, slavery collapsed as a mat- 
ter of "military necessity" and disappeared for 
all time from the face of our fair land. 

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow." 


Army Veterans as Office Holders — Presidential Contest of 1800 — Election of Jeffer- 
son AND Burr — Kentucky's Part in the Contest — Repeal of Obnoxious Laws — Pio- 
neer Kentucky Bank — Surplus of Courts — Louisiana Purchase Frees the Missis- 
sippi — Republican Becomes Democratic Party- — Death of John Breckinridge. 

Kentuckians have an inborn propensity for 
politics and it has been said by envious critics 
that this propensity extends to a willingness to 
hold public office when the proceeds thereof 
are encouraging. At a reunion of Kentucky 
Confederate soldiers held some years since, the 
orator of the day, himself a Confederate vet- 
eran, congratulated his comrades upon their 
financial prosperity which they had won 
through their own efforts since the war had 
closed. "We draw no pensions," said he; "we 
need no pensions ; we want no pensions," 
which sentiment was generously applauded. 
When the orator had concluded, he was 
warmly congratulated by a friend who had 
held high rank in the Federal army. "That 
was a fine speech," said he, "and I enjoyed 
every word of it, but especially that portion 
of it where you said that you and your com- 
rades drew no pensions, needed no pensions, 
wanted no pensions. Of course none of you 
needs a pension, as the last blamed one of you 
has held a public office ever since your disa- 
bilities were removed." The orator had no 
response ready, as he was at the time conclud- 
ing his seventeenth year as an office-holder. 

It was true in large part that for many years 
after the war men who had served in the Con- 
federate army, filled many public positions, but 
a shrewd old general of that army explained 
that this was because those who entered the 
Confederate service from Kentucky were "the 

rose and expectancy of the fair state" and that 
had there been no war, they would have grown 
up and filled all the public offices just the 
same. It would ill become this writer, who 
was one of them, to connnent upon the Gen- 
eral's compliment. This anecdote, trivial 
enough in itself, is entitled to recognition, 
since it illustrates truthfully and in a few 
words a condition which obtained in Ken- 
tucky politics for years following the close of 
the war, but which exists no longer. The vet- 
erans of the two armies, enemies once but 
friends now, are tempted no longer by the 
flesh pots of Egypt, but, calmly and bravely as 
they met each other upon the field of strife, 
they await the inevitable hour, smiling mean- 
while, indulgently, upon the youngsters who 
have taken their places in the political battle 
line, wishing them a wisdom which they do 
not possess and which may come, as the years 
come, to take the place of platitudes and abus- 
ive epithets. 

The Kentucky boy when arriving at the dig- 
nity of long trousers, becomes an embryo poli- 
tician, particularly if he has the good fortune 
to be a country boy. The boy whose misfor- 
tune it is to be born and reared in the city, 
takes up cigarettes with his first pair of long 
trousers and a few years later the boy from 
the country arrives and pushes him out of his 
political or business pathway. The moral of 
this is that a boy had better stain his fingers 




hulling walnuts in the country than with a 
cigarette in the city. 

These preliminaries having been settled, the 
principal characters of the presidential contest 
of 1800 may be introduced. Party lines were 
as strictly drawn one hundred and ten years 
ago as they are today. The senseless habit of 
imputing all the sins in the calendar to politi- 
cal opponents was as common then as now, 
and men made fools of themselves about poli- 
tics precisely as they do today. 

There was in 1800 an inflamed public senti- 
ment caused by the Alien and Sedition laws 
for which the Federalists were responsible. 
The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, ringing 
and manly in tone, had stiffened the courage 
of the Republican party, and a political battle 
royal was a certainty. There were no tele- 
graphic dispatches in those days, no daily 
newspapers, no telephones, no fast mail trains 
to quickly and widely distribute political in- 
formation. Alen lived narrow lives, by force 
of circumstances, but they thought broadly. 
Every man, according to his intellectual light, 
was a politician, simie for love of country and 
from a sense of duty; some from love of 
the loaves and fishes and a sense that it was 
well to make hay while the sun shone brightly. 

John Adams led the Federalists, Thomas 
Jefiferson the Republicans. Adams was the 
cold, calculating product of the New England 
coast ; honest, austere and every inch a pa- 
triot ; every foot a man. It is too late in the 
history of the country for the warmer-blooded 
men of the more generous and genial southern 
sun to deny to the stern sons of New England 
the recognition and the honor which is their 
due. Mistaken they may have been — from a 
southern point of view they were undoubtedly 
mistaken — but they were honest from their 
view-point, and for this they should have 

There were no national conventions in the 
days of 1800. The Federal congressmen fol- 
lowing the custom of that day, named for 

president, John Adams ; for vice president, 
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. The Republi- 
cans named for president, Thomas JetTerson ; 
for vice president, Aaron Burr, the stormy 
petrel of the political world of his day, who 
lives in the minds of many today as a traitor 
to his country ; in the minds of others as the 
greatest political genius of his time. He is, at 
least, entitled to the statement that he was 
never convicted of any of the charges brought 
against him. The worst that can be said of 
Burr today, from a judicial standpoint, is that 
he had the benefit of a Scotch verdict — "Not 

At that time, presidential electors were 
chosen by the state legislatures and not by a 
direct vote of the people as riovv. The contest 
was not allowed to lag and the state capitals, 
instead of the entire L'nion, became the seats 
of war ; the storm centers wherein surged and 
seethed the political cauldrons. In May, the 
state of New York, through its legislature, 
cast the first votes for Jefferson and Burr, to 
the surprise of the Federal forces, since it had 
been expected that the state would cast its 
vote for Adams as it had done four years be- 
fore. Adams, chagrined at this unexpected 
result, dismissed from his cabinet, Mr. Pinck- 
ney, secretary of state, and his associate on 
the presidential ticket, and Mr. McHenry, sec- 
retary of war, believing these gentlemen to 
lack sympathy with the principles of the party 
which he represented. He had the usual ill- 
luck of those politicians who, through lack 
of judgment, "swap horses while crossing a 
stream." Alexander Hamilton, the father of 
the Federalist party and the shrewdest politi- 
cian the new country had ever known, saw the 
evil effect of this action of the president, and, 
in a public letter, censured his public character 
and conduct. A house divided against itself 
cannot stand — and from this moment began 
the downfall of the Federalist party and the 
ascendancy of the Republican party, which 
was later to become known as the Democratic 



party and which, through various vicissitudes 
of good and ill-fortune, has existed to this 

Hamilton, it has been charged, wrote this 
letter witli a view to defeat both Adams and 
Jefferson and elect Pinckney, which was then 
possible under the constitution as originally 
adopted. The center of his alleged plans was 
the state of South Carolina, which was ex- 
pected to support Jefferson for president and 
its own son, Pinckney, for vice president. 
This expectation was not realized, as South 
Carolina cast its electoral vote for the Repub- 
lican ticket, Jefferson and Burr. This was 
the straw which broke the Federal camel's 
back and ended all hopes of the success of 
Hamilton's schemes, with the electorate. Jef- 
ferson had received a plurality of seventy- 
three votes ; Burr, an equal number. Under 
the cumbrous provision of the constitution as 
it then existed, there was no election and the 
contest came before the national house for 
final decision. Hamilton, with Machiavelian 
shrewdness, bitterly opposing the Republican 
principles of Jefferson, threw his strength to 
Aaron Burr, endeavoring to have chosen as 
president the man at whose hand he was later 
to meet his death in a duel. 

In the house eight states cast fifty-one votes 
for Jeft'erson; six states cast fifty-three votes 
for Burr; two states divided. For thirty-five 
ballots there was no change, but on the thirty- 
sixth, several members cast blank ballots 
which was tantamount to voting for Mr. Jef- 
ferson. On this ballot ten states voted for 
Jefferson ; four states — Massachusetts, Rhode 
Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut — for 
Burr. Mr. Jefferson therefore became presi- 
dent and Mr. Burr vice president. Thus came 
into the political arena the Democratic party 
which held power for a number of years — 
nearly a quarter of a century — when it sur- 
rendered it ; and since which time it has gone 
upward and downward upon the political 
teeter-board, sometimes winning, sometimes 

losing, but always "picking its flint and coming 
again," even after its most disastrous defeats. 
It was a gallant party in its earlier, as in some 
of its later years, until it fell under the control 
of opportunists and followed strange gods 
into devious pathways and met defeat The 
child is probably yet unborn wdio will witness 
its final downfall, but there be many today 
who mourn for the Democratic party of their 

Kentucky was so intimately a part of the 
presidential contest, the events of which have 
just been related, that no excuse is offered for 
bringing into this history of the state a re- 
countal of national events. The Alien and 
Sedition Laws, responsibility for which rested 
upon Mr. Adams and the Federalist party 
which he represented as the titular head of 
the party, were especially offensive to the 
freedom-loving Kentuckians. Under the bale- 
ful provision of those laws foreign-born resi- 
dents of the United States, who had bared 
their bosoms to the storm of war and shed 
their blood in the cause of the colonies, could 
at the mere will of the president of the United 
States, be banished from our shores and de- 
nied the enjoyment of the blessings of free 
government they had aided the United States 
to obtain. "Kentuckians are an imperial 
race," said a just judge once in charging a 
grand jury. Kentuckians are a just and lib- 
erty-loving race, he might well have said, and 
being so, they sought the first opportunity to 
e.xpress their stern disapproval of laws which 
worked wrong and injustice upon those who, 
in the stress of peril, had come to the aid of 
the struggling colonies and oft'ered their for- 
tunes and their lives upon the altar of liberty, 
freedom and political equality. Kentucky 
fought for Jefferson and the Right and no- 
where was his election hailed with more unan- 
imous accord than in the new state, Virginia's 
first-born, and the first star of the west to cast 
its splendor upon the flag of the Union. 

When Jefferson had taken office as presi- 



dent, the first of the acts of his administration 
to affect Kentucky was the repeal of the law 
creating Federal court systems in the United 
States, and the law under which internal reve- 
nue taxes were collected. Judge McClung, 
United States judge for the Kentucky district, 
was legislated out of office by this act, which 
required a bare majority of the congress for 
its adoption, whereas a Federal judge could 
not be dismissed from his office save by a 
two-thirds majority of the congress. This re- 
moval from ofilice was no reflection upon the 
officials affected ; they were the innocent vic- 
tims of a change in the existing system. 

A more popular measure was the repeal of 
the internal revenue taxation system, which 
bore hard upon the people of the agricultural 
sections of the country, who were often placed 
under great difficulties in the efforts to secure 
the money necessary to meet the demands of 
the revenue collectors. A feature of these 
acts of congress which has always been 
claimed as a cardinal principle of the Demo- 
cratic party, was the reduction of office-hold- 
ers and a corresponding reduction in expendi- 
tures. Sometimes this claim has been justi- 
fied ; at other times, it is grievous to relate, it 
has not been. It is an uncomfortable fact that 
no political party is ever quite so good as it 
claims to be. 

At this early date in the history of the state 
there was no bank within its limits, though 
today no little village with a population of a 
few hundred, feels that it has its proper place 
upon the map unless it has a bank, however 
small may be its capital or the business de- 
mands for such an institution. The business 
of inaugurating banks in small villages, with 
capital stock in keeping with the size of the 
village, has grown almost to the dignity of a 
profession, while several counties in the state 
have established kindergartens for the educa- 
tion of bankers, and which turn out cash- 
iers "while you wait." It is gratifying to state 
that some of the young men thus entered into 

the financial world, have, by merit, won their 
way and occupy high stations in the banking 
world of Kentucky. In such a deal of chaff it 
is not a matter for wonder that a few grains 
of real wheat should be found. 

The first bank of Kentucky was incorpo- 
rated as an insurance company with "a nigger 
in tJie woodpile." The ostensible purpose of 
the company was to insure produce in transit. 
A seemingly innocent little clause in the char- 
ter of this company giving it authority "to 
take and give bills, bonds and obligations in 
the course of their business, and to receive and 
pass them by assignment; and such of the 
notes as are payable to bearer shall be nego- 
tiable and assignable by delivery." Thus the 
bills issued by the insurance company made 
payable to bearer, became the exact equivalent 
of bank bills and were so collectible under the 
act of incorporation. The somewhat oppro- 
brious term of corporation lawyer had not 
been invented in those days, but the gentleman 
was there under another name and seems to 
have done his work quite as well as his suc- 
cessor in these days of trusts and kindred 
combinations. There is nothing new under 
the sun, is truer than the average person be- 
lieves. This pseudo insurance company, con- 
ceived in fraud and brought forth in iniquity, 
continued its banking career until 1818, when 
it fell to pieces of its own weight, its paper 
descending the financial scale until it was 
nothing beyond the customary price of waste 
paper sold by the pound. Thus ended the 
first effort at the establishment of a bank in 
Kentucky and it was a deserved ending be- 
cause founded upon a fraudulent basis. 

There was a surplus of courts in the State, 
a fact which the legislature set about remedy- 
ing. Too many courts mean not only too 
much litigation, but too much expense. In 
these days when lawyers, with an assumed 
odor of sanctity about them, employ runners 
and agents to induce the bringing of suits for 
damages for real or imaginary injuries, one 



could wish that the legislature might again 
reduce the number of our courts and decree 
infamy, as it should do, to the lawyer who so 
far forgets his dignity as an officer of the 
courts as to employ men to induce litigation 
that his pockets may be stuffed with illegal and 
illegitimate gains. This evil, patent to every- 
one who goes about the courts or reads the 
newspapers, is one deserving the attention of 
bar associations and of legislatures which 

imate legal practice. No more dishonorable 
men e.xist anywhere, than the men who daily 
stir up strife for their own miserable profit. 

Returning to the question of reduction in 
the number of courts in 1818, it may be stated 
that the district and general courts were abol- 
ished and a system of circuit courts, one for 
each county, established. This would seem an 
improvement, as it brought the people nearer 
to the courts thus giving them a more intimate 


"Court Day" tn Glasgow 

would have the bar as pure as the bench 
as it should be. So long as lawyers guilty of 
these practices are recognized as equals by 
their fellow members of the bar, the "ambu- 
lance chaser" will continue to exist bringing 
ill-gotten gains to his own pocket and discredit 
upon tlie honorable profession which he dis- 
graces. More than one-half of the litigation 
in the courts of Louisville consists of suits 
for damages, many of which would never have 
been brought but for the pernicious activity 
of the so-called lawyers who incite their self- 
. sought clients to litigation. No more honor- 
able men live in Kentucky than the members 
of the bar who devote their attention to legit- 

acquaintance therewith and perhaps a greater 
respect ; as the litigant appearing in the cir- 
cuit court of his own county, felt that it was, 
to a certain extent, his own court from which 
he had the right to expect the fullest justice. 
But there has been from time immemorial a 
fly in the ointment. To each of these circuit 
judges who were required to be learned in the 
law, there were assigned two assistants, whose 
chief qualifications, it seems, was that they 
were not learned in the law or anything else. 
That this addition to the bench proved a fail- 
ure need scarcely to be stated. The assistant 
judges, feeling their importance, instead of 
advancing justice, as was the right of litigants. 



impeded its progress and became such intol- 
erable nuisances to judges, juries and litigants, 
that the law was speedily repealed and the 
complete authority of the court placed where 
it properly belonged, in the hands of the sin- 
gle judge on the bench. 

One should not too strongly criticize the 
efforts of these pioneer fathers of the state 
to arrive at a proper medium of justice and 
of government. Not many years had elapsed 
since they had emerged from the dominion of 
a king. The system of the Republic was new 
to them as it was to the world, and they must, 
perforce, feel their way. That they some- 
times tottered and fell, as does the child in its 
first efforts to walk, is not surprising. That 
from those totterings came the almost perfect 
system of government this country now enjoys 
is the surprise of the old world, wedded to 
monarchical systems, and quick to predict the 
inability of the young Republic to stand alone. 

Those who have read the preceding pages 
will understand the importance to Kentucky 
of unrestricted navigation of the Mississippi 
river. They will also appreciate the surprise 
experienced by the people when, in 1802, on 
the termination of the terms of the treaty with 
Spain, it was learned that it would not be re- 
newed and that there was no relief from this 
unexpected condition. The Spanish intendant, 
IMorales, at New Orleans, issued a proclama- 
tion declaring that the privileges heretofore 
existing would be no longer extended though 
the stipulations of the former convention 
promised a continuance. Kentuckians were 
greatly excited by this information of a situ- 
ation against which they were powerless. Not 
only in Kentucky was there a feeling of indig- 
nation but throughout the United States the 
people were aroused at this evidence of bad 
faith. But time at last makes all things even, 
and in 1898 Spain paid her indebtedness to the 
United States when her armed bands quitted 
forever the islands of Cuba, Porto Rico and 
the Philippines. The indignation felt at the 

bad faith of Spain was not diminished when 
it was learned that she had ceded her Louis- 
iana possessions to France by the secret treaty 
of Ildefonso in 1800. So intense was the 
feeling in the United States that at the next 
meeting of congress the senate endeavored to 
adopt measures looking to the seizure of New 
Orleans and the adjacent territory of Louis- 
iana, but this eiTort fortunately failed, as after 
events proved. From the bad faith of Spain 
in the matter of a continuation of the treaty 
guaranteeing the free navigation of the Mis- 
sissippi river, and the subsequent secret sale of 
its Louisiana possessions to France, there fi- 
nally resulted the acquisition by the L^nited 
States of the vast territory included in what is 
known as the Louisiana Purchase. President 
Jefferson, with that wise foresight which char- 
acterized his political action, saw the great op- 
portunities lying before him. and at once took 
the proper steps to acquire this territory. As 
Kentucky was more directly interested than 
any other state. Governor Garrard was kept 
advi'ied of every move made by the federal 
government. There was sent to France as 
minister at this time, James Monroe of Vir- 
ginia, a wise man of the sterling business qual- 
ities which fitted him for the commercial task 
submitted to him. That he was subsequently 
to become president of the young Republic 
had probably never entered his head when he 
sailed away to France. However that may 
be, when he reached France he lost no time in 
bringing to a conclusion the important task 
submitted to him. Napoleon, beset by foes on 
every hand, great genius that he was, could 
not conduct his campaigns with an empty mil- 
itary chest. Money he must have and in his 
commercial stock there was but little which 
he could sell. He needed millions and Monroe 
had millions to offer for Louisiana. April 
30, 1803, the negotiations were closed and 
when Napoleon accepted the sixteen millions 
paid him for almost an empire, he said: "I 
renounce the control of this territory with 



regret; to attempt to bold it against my ene- 
mies would be folly." Tbe territory tbus 
added to the United States amounted to about 
two million square miles of the richest and 
most productive acres now within the borders 
of the Union — Kentucky's blue grass lands 
alone excepted. General Wilkinson, repre- 
senting the army, and Governor Claiborne, of 
Mississippi Territory, took formal possession 
of the new possessions in the name of the 
United States on December 20. 1803, and for 
the first time in the history of Kentucky's en- 
terprising citizens, the Ohio and Alississijjpi 
rivers flowed unvexed to the sea. 

It may be, as was charged at the time by 
those who were in opposition to everything, 
that President Jefferson had no constitutional 
right to involve the United States in this pur- 
chase nor to expend what was then deemed a 
vast sum in an unwarranted extension of the 
public territory. These persons may have 
been right under a strict construction of the 
Constitution. Upon this question much use- 
less discussion has been had. but it has long 
since sunk into desuetude, the general public, 
if not the world at large, having agreed that 
in this instance, at least, the end justified the 
means. The man of today who would ques- 
tion the propriety of the purchase of the Lou- 
isiana Territory would be considered as fit for 
admission into an institute for the feeble- 

In 1804, Mr. Jefferson was re-elected pres- 
ident, the contest for the position not having 
been marked by the excitement and bitterness 
of his initial campaign. The good people of 
Kentuck)' and elsewhere in the Union who 
have no particular fondness for the word Re- 
publican when used to designate a political 

party, will be pleased to know that about this 
time the party represented by Mr. Jefferson 
began to be called the Democratic partv, in- 
stead of the Republican party as it had hitherto 
been known. Shakespeare says '"there's noth- 
ing in a name" but there are some people who 
do not agree with the poet. 

In Mr. JeiTerson's second cabinet, the Hon. 
John Breckinridge, author and mover of the 
celebrated Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, was 
appointed attorney general of the United 
States. His untimely death in 1806 robbed 
Kentucky and the Union of a man whose 
honesty of purpose and dignity of character, 
together with an intellect surpassed by none 
of his contemporaries, would have led to yet 
greater distinction, and the presidency was 
none too high a station for him to seek and 
win with the approval of an admiring and ap- 
preciative national constituency. Mr. Breck- 
inridge was a native of Staunton, Virginia, 
and died at the early age of forty-six years. 
In his twenty-fifth year he married Miss Mary 
Hopkins Cabell, of Buckingham county, Vir- 
ginia, and went to Albemarle county where he 
practised law for a time, subsequently remov- 
ing to Kentucky and settling in Lexington, 
near which city, on his estate of Cabellsdale, 
he died in 1806. He was a great man with 
great possibilities ; the first of his name in 
Kentucky to win distinction but by no means 
the last. It will be long until Kentucky for- 
gets John Breckinridge, the lawyer and states- 
man ; Robert J. Breckinridge, the great theo- 
logian ; John C. Breckinridge, lawyer, states- 
man and soldier ; \\'m. C. P. Breckinridge, 
lawyer, soldier, statesman, and the most elo- 
quent of Kentuckians, past or present. 


Burr AND His Ambitions — Balls to Burr and His Prosecutor — Henry Clay — Commences 
Political Career — Threatened War With Great Britain— Kentucky Legislation 
— Seventh State in Population — Harrison at Tippecanoe — Death of Daveiss and 

Reference was made at an earlier period 
in this work of Aaron Burr, in connection 
with the "Spanish Conspiracy." During the 
summer of 1805, Burr appeared in Kentucky, 
visiting quietly for a time at Frankfort. He 
had prior to this fought the fatal duel with 
Hamilton, which, together with attacks upon 
the administration of Mr. Jefferson, had de- 
stroyed his political prospects. His was too 
active and brilliant a mind to remain quiescent. 
He must be always employed and must be 
first in every enterprise. After grasping at 
the presidency which for a time seemed within 
his reach, it must have been as gall and worm- 
wood to sink to the second place and, as vice 
president, preside over the sleepy senate. 
How his eyes must have turned toward that 
other man higher up, and how he must have 
hated him. 

Leaving Frankfort Burr leisurely visited the 
chief points in the then accessible West and 
finally turning southward from St. Louis, 
reached New Orleans. In August he was 
again in Kentucky, stopping for a time in Lex- 
ington. In 1806, he was again in the West. 
It would prove an interesting chapter could 
one write into history the thoughts, desires, 
and schemes of that haughty brain in which 
burned the fires of an insatiable ambition. It 
has been charged that in his dreams he saw 
himself an emperor seated upon a splendid 
throne surrounded by a court, the ruling prin- 

cess of which should be his beautiful daughter, 
Theodosia, the only being besides himself 
whom he ever truly loved. Sorrow's crown 
of sorrow was his to wear when this idol of 
his heart lost her life at sea. Whatever his 
dreams, whatever his ambitions, they came at 
last to naught and his name was writ in water, 
so far as success was concerned, and is re- 
membered today, only to be execrated by most 
of those who choose to think of him at all. 
He ruined the lovable but gullible Irishman, 
Herman Blennerhassett, who listened and was 
lost. He brought suspicion upon General 
Wilkinson, whom the closest student of the 
history of that period, must hesitate to declare 
guiltless of complicity in Burr's schemes of 
empire; he drove from the bench of Ken- 
tucky's highest court Judge Sebastian ; he es- 
caped conviction on a charge of treason, and 
retiring to New York died at an advanced age, 
a disappointed man whose heart had been eaten 
by the desire for the highest place among men 
and burned to cinders by an unholy ambition. 
Efforts to secure his indictment by the Fed- 
eral grand jury at Frankfort proved unsuc- 
cessful though the brilliant United States dis- 
trict attorney, Joseph Hamilton Daveiss, rep- 
resented the government. The magnetism of 
Burr, his attractiveness to the people of all 
classes, led to the failure to indict him being 
received with applause from those in the 
court room, while subsequently a public ball 




was given in his honor. There were not lack- 
ing those who honored Daveiss for his briUiant 
efforts, unsuccessful though they were, and 
who had not been won by the personal graces 
of the wily Burr. To the district attorney, 
therefore, a public ball was also given. A 
somewhat unusual manner of expressing ap- 
proval, one would say today, but one hundred 
years ago there were fewer people in Ken- 

Henry Cl.w 

tucky than now by very many thousands, 
fewer means of entertainment, fewer oppor- 
tunities for the coming together of kindred 
spirits. No trumpet's clarion call, summoning 
a baron's retainers to the defense of his cas- 
tle, met quicker response in the olden days, 
than did the sound of the violin's strings in 
those splendid days, one hundred years ago, 
when young Kentucky's heart beat raptur- 
ously and men were measured by their deeds 
and worth rather than by the miserable dol- 
lars they had accumulated. 

In 1806, the legislature took up for consid- 
eration charges that Judge Sebastian of the 
court of appeals had, during his continuance 
in office, been a pensioner of the Spanish gov- 
ernment, and appointed a committee of inves- 
tigation. Judge Sebastian obligingly relieved 
this committee from the performance of some 
of its duties by promptly resigning when he 

learned that its report would be adverse to him 
and so he passed off the public stage. 

And now comes upon the stage one of the 
master spirits of his time, a man destined to 
write his name broadly upon the political his- 
tory of his country and to make Kentucky 
known wherever greatness and statesmanship 
are recognized and honored. Henry Clay had 
come to Kentucky at an early age from Han- 
over county,Virginia, where he was born April 
12, 1777. He was the son of a Baptist minister 
of some local prominence, who died when his 
son was but five years old, leaving the future 
statesman and orator to the loving care of the 
mother who had a large family to rear and 
educate. Baptist ministers in those days, as 
in these, were not given to the accumulation of 
the world's goods. The mother was poor in 
all save those high attributes which have given 
to the world so many illustrious sons, and her 
family of children in after days, had occasion 
to recall with filial gratitude the sacrifices she 
had made in their behalf and the advantages 
she had given them from her slender store. 

Henry Clay — great man that he was— was 
not greater than the good woman whom he 
honored himself by worshiping as his mother. 
He grew to manhood, inured to hardships ; 
labored with his hands to eke out the scanty 
store at home, studied as opportunity came, 
laying firmly the foundations on which he 
afterwards erected the superstructure of his 
great public career. He was the friend of the 
people, the rich and the humble, the poor and 
the oppressed. He was a southerner to the 
manner born, yet was among the first of the 
statesmen of the country to advocate emanci- 
pation of the slaves, not only because it was 
right but because, with prophetic vision, he 
saw in the future the woes to flow from the 
curse of slavers'. How fortunate for the coun- 
try had his suggestions been adopted ; what 
bloodshed averted ; what bitter aftermath of 
the struggle which came so few years after his 
death would have been averted. Above all 



else, Mr. Clay was a patriot; he gave bis 
great talents for the benefit of the whole peo- 
ple, and was greater than any political party; 
broader than any political platform. He fa- 
vored internal improvements because they 
would favorably affect for good the greatest 
number compared to the money expended ; he 
was the father of what came to be known as 
the American System, which is but another 
name for a tariflF upon foreign importations. 
In the days of I\Ir. Clay, men who favored the 
policy of protection were not commonly termed 
by the opponents of that policy, as "robbers" 
and "thieves." Perhaps men have grown less 
courteous as the years have passed. 

Mr. Clay's legal education began when he 
was nineteen years old, when he took up his 
residence with the attorney general of Virginia, 
Robert Brooke, with whom he studied so assid- 
uously that at the end of a year's devotion to 
the principles of the law, he obtained a license 
to practice law from the court of appeals of 
his native state. Notwithstanding this short 
period of time devoted to legal study, Mr. Clay 
was equal to the demands made upon him when 
he met in the courts men older in years and in 
the practice than himself. No man ever met 
Henry Clay at the bar, on the hustings or on 
the floor of the senate who did not recognize 
a foeman worthy of his steel. 

When Mr. Clay came to Lexington, he was 
less than twenty-one years of age. He contin- 
ued his studies, evidently recognizing that there 
was yet much for him to learn, but made no 
effort to engage in the practice of his profes- 
sion. He was studying not only his books but 
the people among whom he had cast his lot 
and one of whom he was henceforth to be, 
the most distinguished of them all. At last, 
he went to the bar, with modesty and expecting 
no great success. The Lexington bar was 
then, as now, an able one, and the young \'ir- 
ginian. delicate in fonn and apparently not ro- 
bust in health, had giants to encounter. He 
met them fairly and perhaps to his own sur- 

prise, successfully. He has said of liimself, 
"that he immediately rushed into a lucrative 
practice." To follow Mr. Clay in his career 
is not the purpose of this work, ^'olume after 
volume has been written, telling in eloquent 
terms of the great successes and the great dis- 
appointments that came to him. Here only a 
passing reference can be made. When he 
came to Kentucky Lexington was a storm cen- 
ter of politics : the bitterness of the contest be- 
tween the Republicanism of Mr. Jefferson and 
the Federalism of Hamilton was at its height. 
There was no such thing as neutralitv in pol- 
itics then. Had there been, it would not have 
appealed to the positive character of Mr. Clay. 
He found a place suited to his beliefs in the 
Republican, or Democratic party of Jefferson, 
as it had now come to be called. The senseless 
bitterness of partisan politics is shown in the 
fact that Mr. Clay's bitterest political enemies 
in later life, those who most rabidly reviled 
him, were members of that same Democratic 
party in which he had spent the earlier days 
of his young manhood. The sentence against 
the man who dares to think for himself and 
to vote as he honestly believes is "anathema 
maranatha," a sentence usuall}^ declared by 
men who know not a principle of the party to 
which they belong and who represent only its 

In 1803 and again in 1806, Mr. Clay repre- 
sented Fayette county in the state house of 
representatives, and here began his remarkable 
political career. In 1806, when but twenty- 
nine years old, he was elected to serve out the 
unexpired term of General Adair in the United 
States senate. This term covered but a single 
session of the senate. Returning home after 
the adjournment of congress, he was a third 
time elected to represent Fayette county in the 
legislature. The people of Kentucky when 
next they are called upon to choose men to rep- 
resent them at Frankfort would do well to 
consider the wise example set them by Fayette 
county more than a hundred years ago. They 



may not find a Henry Clay to represent them, 
but the experiences of the near-by past indicate 
that they will make no mistake by changing 
the present system under which members of 
the house are selected and elected. There 
seems no possible reason to fear that they will 
go from bad to worse. 

During this third term of Mr. Clay in the 
house he was elected speaker of that body and 
began the career as a parliamentarian which 
in later years was to make him so acceptable as 

dation for that American System of which he 
became the author and which exists in a some- 
what enlarged form to the present day. The 
opposition to the effort of Mr. Clay to encour- 
age domestic manufactures was great but in 
the end was successful though not immediately 

During the session of 1811-12 the re-char- 
tering of the United States Bank came before 
the senate and presented opportunity for the 
most impassioned and bitter debate, as well as 

Home of Henry Clay, Ne.\r Lexington 

the accomplished speaker of the national house 
of representatives. He continued as a member 
of the house until 1809, when he resigned and 
was a second time elected to the United States 
senate to fill out an unexpired term. Mr. Thrus- 
ton, a senator from Kentucky, having resigned. 
This time, his term of service in the senate 
was for two years. During his term he took 
part in the discussion of the more important 
questions before the senate, the most notable 
•of his speeches being that in which he favored 
giving the preference to home-grown and home- 
made articles in purchasing supplies for the 
army and navy. He was but laying the foun- 

the display of eloquence. IVIr. Clay opposed the 
charter, but subsequenth- experienced a change 
of mind and in 1816 he favored the bank and 
remained afterward one of its ablest advocates. 
He was man enough to change his views when 
he found he was in error, and brave enough to 
defy all the powers arrayed against him, be- 
cause of that change. 

James Madison, at the expiration of Mr. 
Jefferson's term in 1809, succeeded him in the 
presidency. General Charles Scott was elected 
governor of Kentucky in 1808; Gabriel Slaugh- 
ter, lieutenant governor, and Jesse Bledsoe was 
appointed secretary of state. 



The foreign relations of the new repubhc 
were far from a satisfactory condition. Great 
Britain had never seemed to recognize that the 
United States had gone into business on their 
own account. The conduct of the former on 
the high seas had been particularly ofifensive 
and war seemed imminent. This was more 
than ever expected after the attack of the Eng- 
lish frigate "Leopard" upon the United States 
man-of-war "Constitution." The survivors of 
the Revolution were not yet old men in many 
instances, while their sons were at that fiery 
age which makes war welcome. No one 
doubted that war was to come; with true 
American spirit, no one doubted what the issue 
of that war would be. "We have whipped you 
once and can whip you again" said old and 
young America in unison, and each was ready 
to put the issue to the touch. There was little 
if any question as to what was to happen. 
The real question was a? to when it was to 

While awaiting events in the discussion be- 
tween the United States and Great Britain, the 
material interests of Kentucky were not per- 
mitted to languish. 

In 1807, the Bank of Kentucky, with a cap- 
ital of $1,000,000 was incorporated. In 1808, 
the limitation in acts of ejectment was reduced 
from twenty to seven years, where there was 
an adverse entry and actual residence. This 
act, as stated by Mr. Smith in his excellent 
history, was largely instrumental in quieting 
land litigation upon conflicting claims and had 
for its author Humphrey ^Marshall, one of the 
first historians of Kentucky. It is not im- 
probable that the day may come when the 
people of the state may recognize the great ser- 
vices rendered them by its historians, who 
labor alone for the common good with no 
thought of the adequate financial compensation, 
which none of them has yet, or will ever 

In 1810 the census returns showed Ken- 
tucky to be the seventh state in the Union in 

point of population, the latter numbering 406,- 
511. Of these there were 324,237 whites; 
80,567 slaves, and 1,717 free colored people. 
The general increase in the succeeding ten 
years had been eighty-four per cent; of slaves 
something more than ninety-nine per cent. 
This latter increase showed that the increase in 
population was largely from \^irginia and ac- 
counts, in large part, for the affinity between 
the people of Kentucky and the Old Dominion. 

In 181 1, the Indians, incited by British offi- 
cers, renewed activities and outrages upon the 
whites came to be of frequent occurrence. 
There was as has been stated, no longer a doubt 
that there was to be a renewal of hostilities 
between the people of the United States and 
Great Britain. The latter government still 
smarted under its defeat in the War of the 
Revolution and the loss of the fair colonies 
populated originally by Englishmen who had 
breathed the air of freedom in the new world 
and had learned to successfully defend their 
homes and families against the trained soldiers 
of that land which they had once been proud 
to call their Fatherland. England sought to 
intimidate the new republic by turning loose 
upon it the savage hordes as they had brought 
the Hessians in the Revolution. But as the 
Hessians were not feared, neither were the 
Indians. In the early pioneer days, the people 
had met and conquered the savages and were 
ready and willing to meet and conquer them 

They went out to meet the Indians on their 
own chosen fields and gave them such lessons 
as were never forgotten. At Tippecanoe, in 
the then territorj' of Indiana, the white forces 
under General \\'illiam Henry Harrison, one 
of the greatest of Indian fighters, met the sav- 
age forces under Tecumseh and his brother, 
The Prophet. Tecumseh was a born generalj 
savage though he was. With education, cou- 
pled with his natural instincts as a soldier 
and commander, he would have been well nigh 
invincible. He kniew the value of concen- 



tration and its power. To the end that the 
pioneers might be entirely destroyed or driven 
from the land which the Indian claimed as 
his own, and justly so claimed, let it be said, 
he had endeavored to form a combination of 
all the Indian tribes, north and south, his ulti- 
mate aim being a concentrated attack upon the 
whites wherever they might be found. He 
missed the battle at Tippecanoe by reason of 
his mission to tlie outlying tribes, but arrived 
in time to e.xperience the mortification of the 
defeat which came to his brother The Prophet. 
General Harrison, shrewd old Indian fighter 
that he was, had forced the fighting as soon 
as he came within touch of tlie Indians and met 
them at the very doors of their wigwams, scat- 
tering them to the four winds and administer- 
ing the most serious defeat they had ever 
known. General Harrison's regular troops 
were reinforced in this campaign and decisive 
battle by Kentucky volunteers, who, then, as 
always, did honor to themselves and the state 
for which they fought. 

Among the Kentuckians who died upon this 
field of honor was Colonel Joseph Hamilton 
Daveiss and Colonel Abraham Owen, each of 
whom fell with face to the front. Daveiss had 

already won civic honors in the attempt to in- 
dict Aaron Burr for alleged complicity in the 
Spanish Conspiracy and Owen was a typical 
pioneer who had many times met and fought 
the savage foes who made life a burden to the 
early settlers of Kentucky. He had been a 
member of the convention which formed the 
second constitution of Kentucky, and was a 
member of the Kentucky senate. He fell at 
the side of General Harrison, for whom he was 
an aide-de-camp. To many Kentuckians it 
will be interesting to know that one of his sons, 
Colonel Clark Owen, led a Texas regiment on 
the Confederate side in the War Between the 
States, and fell at the head of his regiment 
on the deadly field of Shiloh in 1862. 

Colonel Joseph Hamilton Daveiss was one 
of the first of the great lawyers of Kentucky, a 
brother-in-law of Chief Justice Marshall of 
the supreme court of the United States, whose 
sister he married. He was a great orator and 
those who had heard him said that he was the 
most impressive of speakers, nor did they ex- 
cept Henry Clay. He died for his country, 
a death he would perhaps have chosen above 
all others, as would any true man who has 
ever worn the uniform of a soldier. 


Earthquake of i8ii — Mississippi Turned axd Lake Formed — State Aid to Public 
Works — Act Against Dueling — Public Lotteries Legalized — Shelby Again Gover- 
nor — Boone's Last Plea. 

The closing days of the year 1811 were 
marked by the most severe seismic disturbance 
ever known, up to that time, in Kentucky and 
its neighboring states, Tennessee and Missouri, 
producing results which have remained to this 

Early in the morning of December 16. 181 1, 
an earthquake of startling magnitude, awoke 
the inhabitants of certain portions of the states 
named, so violent were the movements of the 
earth and loud the rumbling sounds accom- 
panying those movements. In the excitement 
incident to these disturbances, these rumbling 
sounds were compared to those produced by 
the simultaneous firing of a thousand pieces of 
artillery, the comparison having been made, it 
is evident by some one who had never wit- 
nessed a battle nor heard the roar of a battery 
of artillery in action, to say nothing of a thou- 
sand pieces of artillery. But it was a momen- 
tous earthquake; of that there can be no 

The current of the Mississippi river, bv the 
upheaval of the earth, was for a time turned 
up stream : a fact of which there is no doubt, 
as there were many reliable witnesses. The 
shock continued with more or less violence 
until December 21st. The strangest result 
of this seismic upheaval was the formation in 
West Tennessee, not far from the Kentucky 
line, of a lake seventj' miles long and from 
three to twentv' miles wide, the depth of which 
varies from shallow water to one hundred feet. 

a greater depth than the Mississippi river, 
whence came its waters, is known to show 
along its entire great length. This lake was 
christened Reel Foot, by which name it has 
ever since been known. For many years it has 
been a favored spot with sportsmen of rod 
and gun, the great number of fish in its waters 
being seemingly equalled at certain seasons, by 
the wild geese and ducks which seek food and 
rest within and upon its water during their 
migratory periods. In 1908, Reel Foot Lake 
was the scene of the cowardly murder of one 
man, and the attempted murder of another, 
by men who resented what they claimed was 
an attempt to infringe upon their alleged vested 
right to hunt and fish upon the waters of the 
lake. The state of Tennessee made a vigorous 
prosecution of the participants in this outrage, 
and appropriate punishment was meted out to 
a number of them. 

In the legislative session of 1811-12 a grant 
of land was made in aid of the location and 
erection of salt works in the counties of Wayne 
and Pulaski. This was the inception of state 
aid to public works which led to the granting 
of future sums to improve the navigation of 
certain streams within the state — notably the 
Kentucky. Green, Barren and Cumberland 
rivers, and the construction of turnpikes in 
certain counties. Of this latter concession 
what are known as the Blue Grass counties 
were the principal beneficiaries, the result being 
apparent to this day. in a system of roads. 




unequalled anywhere else in the United States 
and only equalled or surpassed by the excellent 
roadways of England and France, in the for- 
mer of which countries those unparalleled road 
builders, the Roman armies of Caesar, laid the 
foundations of roads and bridges which exist 
today in a condition of excellence which would 
shame the so-called road builders of Kentucky 
in the counties outside of the Blue Grass sec- 

At the period of this writing (1911) efforts 

of the legislature should cease to furnish mat- 
ter for jests in the columns of newspapers. 
It is a time for men ; men who have done good 
work at home ; men who would do good work 
for the state ; men who have no political axes 
to grind ; men who would recognize the accept- 
ance of a seat in the general assembly as a duty, 
sacred to themselves, their families, their dis- 
tricts and their state. When the good day 
comes that such men are chosen — and it will 
come when the people demand it at the polls — 

Oiled Kentucky Tuunpike, Showixg Stock Paidocks 

are being made to perfect a "Good Roads Sys- 
tem" in the state, which will result in good 
only when the people of Kentucky shall have 
learned to send to the general assembly their 
best men who have shown their capacity in the 
management of their personal affairs, and a 
public spirit that marks tiiem as worthy of rec- 
ognition by the state and by the people of their 
respective counties. 

In the progress of this work reference has 
more than once been made to the necessity for 
the choice of better men as state senators and 
representatives and even further reference may 
be made later. It is time that being a member 

Kentucky will take the place to which it is 
entitled in the sisterhood of states. Kentucky 
will then remodel its archaic system of taxa- 
tion which now repels foreign capital and 
drives from its borders the investments of its 
own citizens, and will offer to the citizens of 
other states as to those of its own. a helping 
rather than a repellant hand. 

At the legislative session above alluded to, 
Kentucky assented to a proposed amendment 
to the Federal constitution depriving of citizen- 
ship any who accepted a foreign title of nobility 
or honor, or who accepted presents or office 
from any foreign government. 



The growing sentiment against dueling was 
illustrated in the passage of an act under the 
provisions of which all state and judicial offi- 
cers were required to make oath that they had 
not engaged in or participated as seconds i:i a 
duel or negotiated a challenge therefor. This 

Daniel Boone Monument, Cherokee 
Park, Louisville 

sentiment was afterwards emphasized in the 
constitution of the state, where it yet remains, 
and embraces all persons who are required by 
law to make oath before accepting office that 
they have in no wise participated in a duel 
with a citizen of the state, in or out of the 
state, or carried a challenge for such duel. As 

Kentuckians have been represented to be an 
office-seeking and office-holding race, it is 
perhaps, unnecessary to state that dueling long 
since went out of fashion in this state. It is 
the usual custom now, to settle on the spot 
differences which in the earlier days would 
have resulted in a call upon what was known 
as "the code of honor." 

It is worthy of mention that this same leg- 
islature inaugurated or legalized public lot- 
teries. The firse lottery grant was for the im- 
provement of Kentucky river; the second, in 
aid of repairs on the public road from Mays- 
ville to Washington in Mason county ; the third 
and most remarkable being in aid of the erec- 
tion on the public square at Frankfort of a 
church building for the free use of the people 
of all sects or denominations. If such a 
church resulted from this lottery, history is si- 
lent in regard to it, and the probability is that 
the promoters thereof profited to a larger ex- 
tent through its management than did "the 
people of all sects or denominations" for whose 
ostensible benefit it was originated. This was 
the origination of a long series of lotteries for 
the alleged benefit of this or that public insti- 
tution which obtained in Kentucky for many 
years, the last of which only discontinued its 
operations after a long series of judicial con- 
tests originating in the state courts, and ending 
finally, in a decision by the supreme court of 
the United States, adverse to the lotteries. 
Since that date, no publicly conducted lotteries 
have existed in Kentucky though the miserable 
"policy" lottery devised for the robbery of the 
poorer and more ignorant classes, still leads in 
secret, a precarious existence in the larger 

Isaac Shelby, a hero of the War of the Rev- 
olution and progenitor of a line of excellent 
men and women of Kentucky, was in August, 
1 812, for a second time, elected governor of 
the state. The secretary of state was Martin 
D. Hardin, the murder of whose father. Col- 
onel John Hardin, by the Indians to whom he 



bore a mission of peace, has been elsewhere 
referred to in this work. 

It was during the succeeding session of the 
legislature that Daniel Boone made his pathetic 
plea for restitution referred to at an earlier 
period in this work. Through ignorance of the 
law and, perhaps through the wrong-doing of 
others, his imagined title to valuable lands in 
Kentucky had proven worthless. He had left 
the land he had aided in wresting from the 
savage; going first to Virginia and later to 
Missouri, ill-luck apparently following closely 
upon his footsteps. He thought himself the 
legal possessor of ten thousand acres of land 
in Missouri, but found this belief to be un- 
founded so far as a legal title was concerned. 
He came back to Kentucky, and to the legisla- 
ture made this plaintive plea : "And now, your 
memorialist is left, at about the age of eighty, 
to be a wanderer in the world, having no spot 
he can call his own whereon to lay his bones." 

Poor old pioneer ! Kentucky owed him much 
and the poor payment of that debt was sup- 
posed to have been made when the state 
broug-ht home his remains and those of his 
faithful old wife, and gave them sepulture in 
the state cemetery at Frankfort under a modest 
monumental stone which the vandal hands of 
curiosity seekers desecrated in search of relics 
until its original design was almost obliterated. 
It is to the credit of the good women of the 
Kentucky Historical Society that the monu- 
ment has been restored to its original condi- 
tion, so far as is possible, and a barrier of iron 
placed between it and future vandal hands 
that would seek to mar its simple and appro- 
priate symmetry. 

Boone lost his lands. He has a grave within 
Kentucky and one of the counties of the state 
bears his name. And that is all that can be 
done for his honor and glory now. 


As Between England and France — Patriots in Power — Kentuckians Eager for War — 
Humiliated at Hull's Surrender — The Fighting Taylor Family — Hull's Disgrace 
■ — Defeat Stirs Kentuckians — Under General Harrison — Relief of Fort Wayne — 
Two Future Presidents — Protecting Army Supplies — Nature Defeats Harrison's 
Plans — Harrison Conceived Naval Program — American Victory at Frenchtown — 
American Rout at Raisin River — Kentucky Troops Hold Out — A British Promise 
— A Devilish [Massacre^ — Army Almost Wiped Out — Scalps Wanted, Not Ransoms 
— "Humane" Proctor Rewarded. 

The memory of the War of the Revolution 
was yet fresh in the minds of men when 
clouds arose on the foreign political horizon 
and the veterans of that war took down their 
arms, burnishing them anew for use in their 
own hands or in those of their willing and 
stalwart sons. England, still smarting under 
the loss of her richest colonies, had sought by 
every means within her power to humiliate 
the young giant beginning to grow to the maj- 
esty of full manhood, in the western world. 
She held firmly to the militar>' posts of the 
northwest, a constant menace to the peace and 
happiness of the people of the United States ; 
she instigated atrocities by the savages along 
the then frontiers of the new land ; she 
stopped American vessels upon the high seas, 
impressing their sailors upon the specious plea 
that they were deserters from her own marine, 
and in countless ways seemed to goad the new 
government into a collision with her own. 
And Great Britain did not have long to wait. 
Though many citizens of the United States op- 
posed a second war with the great power of 
England, there were not wanting those, and 
they were in the majority, who felt that in- 
sults had been too long submitted to ; that our 
vessels should be free from search upon the 

seas by any power upon earth, and that the 
time had come when the world in general, and 
England in particular, should know that the 
United States were not only willing but able 
to maintain their dignity and protect their cit- 
izens against the attacks of any foreign power 

England and France were at war and each 
government had declared a blockade of the 
ports of the other, a declaration of but little 
effective force, yet of much annoyance to 
American shipping. England seized and con- 
fiscated perhaps a thousand American vessels 
and their cargoes for alleged violation of her 
"orders in council." This could result in noth- 
ing less than war, which England seemed fat- 
uously to seek, though having her military 
hands full at the time with the legions of Na- 
poleon. The latter was scourging Europe at 
that time in what seemed an effort to bring the 
world under the domination of France, and 
France, at that period, was Napoleon alone. 
However much America might deprecate the 
excesses of the French Revolution ; however 
she might decry the ruthless ambition of Na- 
poleon, there yet remained the fact that in the 
stress of our own Revolution, France had 
come to our aid and that when the army of 



Washington encompassed the British army of 
Cornwallis upon the land side, the friendly 
fleet of France, under Rochambeau, lay in the 
James river as Washington's ever-ready sup- 
port. Ingratitude, that unpardonable sin, has 
not been a characteristic of the American peo- 
ple. Though the Federalists of New England 
opposed war upon England because they also 
opposed aid to France, the great heart of the 
country, largely without regard to party lines. 
was in favor of immediate war with England. 
New England was powerful in numbers and 
in wealth, but it could not withstand the pa- 
triotic demands of the masses. Perhaps then, 
as later in the war of 1898 with Spain, it 
heard, in imagination, the roar of hostile guns 
bombarding its cities, and, its commercial 
spirit more dominant than its patriotism, 
dreaded the reprisals that might be made upon 
its money chests should one of its cities fall 
into the hands of the enemy. Be that as it 
may. Xew England opposed the war and took 
but a minor part in its conduct once it had been 
declared. The Federalists opposed ; the Dem- 
ocrats favored war immediately ; and the 
Democrats won. They had the habit of win- 
ning in those days — but that was a long time 

James Aladison. a \'irgiiiian. was president 
of the United States at this critical period and 
James Monroe, anotlier \'irginian, destined 
also to be president, was secretary of state. 
Of neither of these two patriots could it be 
said that 

"He who dallies is a dastard ; 
He who doubts is damned." 

To use the words of an eloquent Kentuckian 
spoken many years later in the United States 
Congress — "While they well knew the hor- 
rors of war : its cost : its failures and suc- 
cesses ; they faltered not, in the face of duty 
and the 'honor of the country.'' 

Kentucky welcomeil the war, if so strong 
a word may be justly used in such connection. 
Long a sufferer from the incursions of the 

savages driven to deeds of plunder, rapine 
and murder by the British officers of the 
northwest posts, Kentucky was anxious to 
take up arms against the British and, once for 
all, fight it out with them. It is a characteris- 
tic of the Kentuckian of today. If he has a 
difference of whatever character, personal, po- 
litical or financial, he is ready to fight it out 
according^ to established forms and when he 
has won or lost, to drop the subject and say 
no more about it. But Kentucky was never 
to be happy until England was a second time 
humbled, and her sons enjoyed the opportunity 
to assist in the performance of that high duty. 

The president had authority to call for ac- 
tive service one hundred thousand volunteers, 
the quota for Kentucky being five thousand, 
five hundred. In answer to the call, seven 
thousand Kentuckians gallantlv and promptly 
responded and were enrolled in ten regiments, 
commanded by veterans who had learned the 
art of war in the first contest with England or 
the ruder conflicts with the Indians. Four 
regiments, under the command of Gen. John 
Payne, assembled at Georgetown, whence on 
.\ugust 19, 181 2, they marched toward Cin- 
cinati, enroute to join the forces of General 
Hull, who had already marched upon Canada 
from his base at Danville. 

These volunteers had but crossed the Ohio 
river when intelligence was received that Gen- 
eral Hull, instead of winning an expected vic- 
tory, had made a surrender not Only of his 
army, but of the base of supplies at Detroit 
including all the munitions of war in that sec- 
tion. General Brock, to whom Hull had dis- 
gracefully surrendered, had a force of Eng- 
lish. Canadians and Indians only about one- 
half as strong as his own. Several of his prin- 
cipal officers, among them General James Tay- 
lor, of Kentuck)-, were so humiliated by Hull's 
conduct that they refused to join him in ar- 
ranging the terms of capitulation. 

Gen. James Taylor came of a family of sol- 
diers, natives of \'irginia. His father Colonel 



James Taylor, was one of eleven brothers, ten 
of whom served in the war of the Revolution, 
as officers of the army or the navy, the 
eleventh brother being alone prevented by his 
tender years, from also entering the service of 
his country. Gen. James Taylor visited Ken- 
tucky in 1793, settling at Newport, in Camp- 
bell county, of which he was the first circuit 
clerk. He had the native Taylor fondness for 
a military life and in 1812 was commissioned 
by General Scott as a brigadier general of the 
militia. During the war of 1812, he became 
successively quartermaster general and pay- 
master general, serving with much distinction 
throughout the war. General Taylor, who 
married the widow of Major David Leitch, 
left four children, one of them the late Col. 
James Taylor, long the most distinguished cit- 
izen of Newport. Gen. Zachary Taylor, the 
hero of many battles and finally president of 
the United States, was a first cousin of Gen. 
James Taylor. There are many descendants 
of the ten fighting Taylor brothers in Ken- 
tucky and it is gratifying to record that they 
have made as fair records in the peaceful pur- 
suits of life as did their warlike ancestors upon 
the field of battle. 

Recurring to the disastrous results of Hull's 
campaign, it may be safely stated that it 
brought consternation not unmixed with an- 
ger, to all the people and particularly to Ken- 
tucky, as there was now no army intervening 
between the state and the English with their 
savage allies, the latter of whom would have 
been all too willing to be led against the peo- 
ple who were now in possession of their for- 
mer happy hunting grounds. 

General Hull, who was charged with trea- 
son and cowardice, demanded and was prompt- 
ly granted a trial by court martial. The 
charge of treason was not sustained, but he was 
found guilty of cowardice and was sentenced 
to be shot to death, but the court coupled with 
this capital sentence, a recommendation for 

mercy, which was accepted by the president 
and Hull's life was saved, but the general or- 
der issued in his case was worse than death to 
a soldier of true spirit. That order read: 
"The rolls of the Army are to be no longer 
disgraced by having upon them the name of 
General William Hull." 

The disastrous defeat and surrender of 
Hull, served to build anew the fires of patri- 
otism in Kentucky, if such were needed, and 
volunteers could be had almost without the 
asking. The state had grown in population 
and in wealth in the years of peace that had 
followed the close of the war with England. 
Young men had listened to the stories told by 
their elders of "deeds of high emprise" in the 
first war with England and the countless con- 
tests with the Indians, and they accepted with 
gladness the opportunity now offered them to 
win military honors and glory for themselves. 
There was yet cherished a hearty hatred of 
England, more natural perhaps in Kentucky 
than elsewhere, for English officers had in- 
cited the Indians against its inhabitants and 
led them in their bloody forays, as this work 
has more than once stated. 

At Louisville, soon after the call for volun- 
teers, two thousand young men reported, anx- 
ious for the fray, but these were doomed to 
temporary disappointment. Poorly equipped 
and without rations for one-half of their num- 
ber, they were led by General Hopkins 
against the Indian towns in northern Illinois. 
Ill led, ill provisioned, untrained in the life of 
a soldier, this command accomplished nothing, 
and returned to Kentucky soon afterwards. But 
these young volunteers were yet to give a good 
account of themselves, as Kentucky soldiers 
have ever done no matter where the field on 
which they fought. 

The Kentuckians who had not accompanied 
General Hopkins, had a better fortune, since 
they were placed under the command of Gen- 
eral Harrison, a steady and consistent old 



fighter, who had already rendered excellent 
service on many fields and was looking for 
more opportunities in the same line. 

Arriving at Cincinnati in August, General 
Harrison assumed command of the volunteers 
from Kentucky, and from all the other states 
who were operating in Ohio and Indiana. 
These troops were drilled and taught that im- 
portant matter, discipline — something to 
which Kentucky soldiers have never too read- 
ily yielded. They are all right and to be de- 
pended upon in the matter of fighting, but 
discipline is irksome to their independent spir- 
its. Gen. Joseph Wheeler, the distinguished 
Confederate cavalry leader, who had under 
his command a number of Kentucky regi- 
ments, was accustomed to say that "the Ken- 
tuckv regiments could have fewer men in their 
columns during a march and more men in a 
fight than any other regiments in his com- 

The first movement of General Harrison 
against the enemy was to the relief of Fort 
\^'ayne, which be had learned was besieged by 
Indians. An Indian Spy in his service went 
forward, mingled with the Indians surround- 
ing the fort and returning gave General Har- 
rison the information he desired. This In- 
dian, known as Logan, had been captured as 
a boy by General Logan, who reared him to 
manhood and gave him his name. When Lo- 
gan returned to headquarters he stated that 
the Indian spies who had been observing Har- 
rison's movements, had reported the Kentuck- 
ians as coming and as numerous as the trees 
in the forest. General Harrison pushed for- 
ward rapidly, only to find on arriving in front 
of the beleaguered fort that the Indians hatl 
fled after burning a village in the vicinity of 
the fort and destroying such crops as they 
might in safety approach. 

General Harrison, finding that the news of 
the approach of Kentuckians "numerous as 
the trees of the forest" had served him well 
and dispersed the enemy without a battle, di- 

vided his forces, sending a column under Gen- 
eral Payne to destroy the Indian towns and 
crops along the banks of the Wabash and a 
second force under Colonel Wells to perform 
like service along the Elkhart river. Payne 
drove the Miamis without loss and Wells had 
equal good fortune with the Pottawattomies, 
the members of each of these tribes flying be- 
fore the approach of the two forces. 

The disposition of the authorities at Wash- 
mgton to assume supreme control of troops in 
.the field and direct their movements was com- 
mon then as it now is. Of course, every one 
recognizes that the president is commander- 
in-chief and may issue such orders as he 
chooses, but that he, in his office in Washing- 
ton, shall be better able to direct the move- 
ments of an army a thousand miles distant 
than the officer in command, few who have 
been soldiers will admit. An instance of the 
blundering of those in power at Washington 
was now shown. 

General Winchester, an aged man, who had 
experience in the field during the Revolution, 
was sent out to supersede General Harrison. 
Winchester knew the arts, perhaps, of civil- 
ized warfare; Harrison knew those of Indian 
warfare. The troops under the latter's com- 
mand were attached to him because of this 
knowledge and of other admirable qualities 
they knew him to possess. Of General Win- 
chester they knew nothing, and however great 
iray have been his soldierly qualities, they did 
not trust him as they did General Harrison. 
The situation being made known at Washing- 
ton, General Harrison was given supreme com- 
mand again, with power to act as to him 
seemed best. 

Harrison, as every one knows, so admirably 
served his country in the field as to deserve 
and win the aflfectionate confidence of the peo- 
ple who, in after years, were to elevate him 
to the presidency of the United States. Among 
his subordinate officers was young Captain 
Zachary Taylor, of the regular army, who 



commanded a garrison of fifty men at Fort 
Harrison. To this fort in September. 1812, 
came a body of Indian men, women and chil- 
dren from the vicinage, asking to be admitted 
to the fort for a council and to procure food. 
Captain Taylor with soldierly prudence, gave 
them food, but denied their plea for admis- 
sion to the fort. The sequel proved the value 
of his denial of privilege, for. after lingering 
in the vicinity of the fort for several days dur- 
ing which they devoured the food so gener- 
ously supplied them, these Indians set fire to. 
one of the blockhouses at night. In the midst 
of the excitement caused by the fire a body 
of warriors, whose presence Captain Taylor 
had anticipated, fired upon the fort. The gar- 
rison made a gallant stand, repulsing the at- 
tack but not without serious losses. Captain 
Taylor ordered one of the cabins within the 
fort torn down and with the logs thus secured, 
barricaded the main entrance against any effort 
the Indians might make to gain admission into 
the fort. The Indians made a second assault 
and endeavored to fire the fort, but on each 
attempt, they were unsuccessful and were 
finally beaten off with great loss. The gallant 
young Captain Taylor was officially thanked 
for his successful defense and in addition, 
soon afterward received the brevet of major. 
His fifty men had successfully withstood the 
attack of several hundred Indians, so excel- 
lently was his defense planned and executed. 
The well-in formed reader will readily recog- 
nize in this captain and brevet major, the Gen- 
eral Zachary Taylor who won honors in [Mex- 
ico and, like General Harrison, died as presi- 
dent of the United States. 

In December. 1812. General Harrison sent 
a column composed of six hundred dragoons, 
under Colonel Campbell, against a body of In- 
dians along Lake ]^Iichigan, who threatened 
to destroy the supplies for the forces of Gen- 
eral Winchester, who, in command of the left 
wing of the army, was at IMaumee Rapids, 
This column was attacked at an early hour of 

the morning at Mississiniway, by a large force 
of Indians. An engagement lasting for more 
than an hour followed, which resulted in the 
defeat and dispersion of the Indians. The 
losses of Colonel Campbell's command were 
fifty-six killed and wounded, showing that the 
Indians had fought bitterly and that the dra- 
goons had responded in kind. Following the 
events just recited there was, for a time, a 
period of inactivity. 

The conformation of those portions of In- 
diana and Ohio in which the army was operat- 
ing was such that the heavy fall rains and the 
freezing and thrawing of the winter, rendered 
military operations extremely difficult. Gen- 
eral Harrison had new levies of troops from 
Kentucky, \'irginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania 
amounting to about ten thousand men, only 
about two-thirds of whom were ready for ac- 
tive service at any time, owing to sickness and 
the fact that the new troops were not inured 
to the hardships of a fall and winter cam- 
paign, or the inaction of a life in a winter 
camp. General Winchester commanded some 
fifteen hundred men at Maumee Rapids; Gen- 
eral Harrison had perhaps twenty-five hun- 
dred with him at Upper Sandusky, while the 
remainder of the forces under his command 
were stationed at such points as seemed to 
need a defensive force. The inclemency of 
the weather and the consequent bad condition 
of the roads, along which transportation was 
almost impossible, defeated General Harri- 
son's plans for attacking and capturing Mai- 
den, the British and Indian base of supplies. 

All the world knows of the splendid victory 
over the British naval forces gained on Lake 
Erie during this war by a newly-constructed 
squadron of American vessels under the com- 
mand of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, 
but it does not know that the idea for the 
building of these ships for the purpose of 
driving the British from the lake, was first 
conceived in the soldierly mind of General 
Harrison. Doomed bv weather conditions to 



a period of military inactivit) , he wrote a let- 
ter to the secretary of the navy, proposing the 
construction of a fleet to compete with the 
English for the possession of Lake Erie, and 
to drive them from its waters, if possible. He 
argued that this plan was cheaper than land 
operations and probably the best means of re- 
gaining the ground lost by Hull's ill-advised 
surrender. The secretary of the navy was 
attracted by the idea, and at once proceeded 
10 put it into execution. The United States. 
axe and saw m hand, went into the forest with 
a divine purpose, emerging therefrom with a 
newly made navy which, under the gallant 
Perry, boldly attacked and defeated the proud 
officers of the supposed invincible British 
navy. Too much honor cannot be paid to the 
memory of Commodore Perry and his gallant 
officers and men. but General Harrison's mem- 
ory should also receive equal honors. 

General Winchester in Januarj', 1813, de- 
spatched a force of some seven hundred Ken- 
tuckians under command of Colonels Lewis 
and Allen, to meet a threatened attack by the 
English upon the settlements at Frenchtown 
and in its vicinity. This force, reaching 
Frenchtown after forced marches, found that 
place occupied by the enemy wdio were con- 
cealed in the homes of the residents. An im- 
mediate attack was made and the enemy was 
driven out and retreated for about half a mile. 
Reforming his broken lines, the English com- 
mander made a stand with small arms and a 
single g^m battery. The Kentuckians were 
divided, a portion of them remaining in front 
of the enemy while the remainder were sent 
around the English left, thus causing the lat- 
ter to retreat for two miles or more, when 
darkness came on and put an end to the en- 
gagement. The losses of the Kentuckians 
were twelve killed and fifty-five wovmded. 
The English losses were estimated as three 
times those of the American force. 

Frenchtown. where this victory was gained 
by the American forces, was but eighteen 

miles from Maiden, the headquarters of tlie 
English army. When news ot the defeat of 
the latter reached General Winchester, that offi- 
cer, believing that the commanding officer at 
Maiden would at once send out reinforce- 
ments to his beaten forces, led a column of 
two hundred and fifty men. all that could be 
spared from the Rapids, to reinforce the vic- 
torious Kentucky troops. On joining these, it 
was determined to at once begin the construc- 
tion of fortifications. On the next day, the 
2 1st, he received information that a force of 
three thousand English and Indians were pre- 
paring to march upon and attack the Ameri- 
can forces on the River Raisin. For some 
inexplicable reason, no attention was paid to 
this information by General Winchester. Col- 
onel Lewis and Major Madison, of the Ken- 
tucky forces, were more alert and cautioned 
their men to remain under cover of the houses 
and other protection at Frenchtown. Men 
who have had experience as soldiers will be 
surprised that a camp, in the presence of the 
enemy, who threatened to immediately attack, 
was unprotected by pickets, the excuse for 
this negligence being the extreme cold of the 
night. Even the road by which the enemy 
was expected to approach, it is stated by the 
historians of that period, was unprotected by 
a picket. It is difficult to believe that a man 
who had experience in the Revolution, as had 
General Winchester, could be so remiss in 
duty. Better a thousand pickets suffering in 
the cold than an army surprised. 

It appears that some one kept awake in the 
American camp, for at daybreak reveille was 
sounded. In a few moments a yet sterner call 
to duty was heard. Three grms, sounded in 
quick succession, told of the near approach of 
the enemy. The Americans had scarcely 
formed until the enemy's artillery opened on 
them from a point only three hundred yards 
awav. The English troops charged the front 
of the American lines, while the Indians at- 
tacked on both right and left flanks. No more 



complete a surprise could have occurred. Half 
a score of pickets on duty under competent 
officers, could have averted the disaster. Col- 
onel Lewis' men poured a deadly fire into the 
enemy repulsing him on the left and center, 
but on the right the reinforcements that had 
accompanied General Wnichester, being un- 
protected, as were those of Colonel Lewis, 
were driven back and Winchester's most 
strenuous efforts could not rally them. The 
British troops poured a hot fire into them in 
front; the Indians flanked them on the right 
and the disaster was complete, a retreat on the 
order of every man for himself resulting. Col- 
onels Lewis and Allen made gallant but inef- 
fectual efforts to rally the men on the south 
side of the river, but the Indians had gained 
their flank and rear; human nature has its 
limitations, and they too joined in the disas- 
trous retreat. The Indians, finding the Amer- 
icans at their mercy, shot, tomahawked and 
scalped them at will, regardless of efiforts to 
surrender. It is stated that one hundred men 
were thus maltreated in a space one hundred 
yards square. Colonel Allen and Captain 
Simpson of the Kentucky volunteers were 
among those who were killed, as was Captain 
Meade of the regular forces. Hundreds were 
overtaken in the deep snow, which retarded 
their retreat, and were ruthlessly tomahawked 
and scalped. 

General Winchester, Colonel Lewis and 
other officers and men, being captured by the 
English troops, escaped murder after capture. 
Majors Graves and Madison, two brave Ken- 
tucky officers commanding Kentuckians of 
equal bravery, held their positions and refused 
to surrender. Proctor, the English com- 
mander, with much discretion, after with- 
standing their deadly fire until ten o'clock, 
withdrew his white forces, intending to renew 
the attack on the return of his brutal savage 
allies from their saturnalia of murder in the 
ranks of the fleeing soldiers. 

Proctor advised his prisoner, Winchester. 

to surrender his entire force as in no other 
manner could their slaughter by the savages 
be prevented. The English commander had 
willingly engaged the services of the devil, 
and now confessed his inability to control the 
myrmidons of His Satanic Majesty. Our 
cousins across the seas seem to have had some 
original ideas as to how best to conduct their 
military operations. In the Revolution they 
confronted the Continental forces with hired 
Hessians; in 1812-15 they found their allies 
among the cruelest of savages whom they 
ruthlessly set upon the men, women and chil- 
dren of their own kith and kin, "bone of their 
bone ; flesh of their flesh." 

Winchester, in the hands of the enemy, was 
unaware that two Kentucky officers and their 
gallant followers were still holding out against 
the enemy's attacks. Graves and Madison, 
still fighting and ready to fight on, were sur- 
prised when one of their comrades. Major 
Overton, accompanied by Proctor, approached 
with a flag of truce. Then only did they learn 
that General Winchester was a prisoner and 
that he had sent them an order to surrender. 
It is not often that the annals of warfare re- 
cord instances where the commander of an 
army, a prisoner in the hands of the enemy, 
issues an order to those of his subordinates 
who are still free and still fighting, to surren- 
der to an enemy who has been unable to dis- 
lodge them or prevent the continuance of their 
defense. Madison, the fire of conflict burn- 
ing in his soldierly eyes, answered the surpris- 
ing demand for a surrender by stating his 
knowledge of Indian v/arfare and declining to 
surrender vmless the fullest protection was af- 
forded his command. Proctor demanded to 
know if Madison proposed to dictate to him, 
to which the gallant Kentuckian replied that 
he proposed to dictate for himself and that he 
and his men proposed to continue fighting 
rather than to be murdered by the savage al- 
lies of the English forces. 

Proctor then agreed that private property 



should be respected : that the sick and 
wounded American soldiers should be taken 
to Maiden for treatment and that they should 
be protected. It will be noted that no prom- 
ise was made for the protection of those who 
were neither sick nor wounded. Major Mad- 
ison, upon inquiry among his subordinate of- 
ficers, found that the supply of ammunition 
was almost exhausted ; that half, or more, of 
the army had already surrendered, and that 
the success of a retreat was impossible. There- 
fore he accepted Proctor's terms and surren- 
dered his gallant fellows to a fate worse than 
death — to the ruthless savagery of a body of 
Indians who knew not mercy and reveled in 
butchery undeterred by their white allies. 

When the English forces withdrew on the 
return march to Maiden, bearing their own 
sick and wounded and leaving behind those of 
the American army, the promised guard of 
protection was found to consist of one Eng- 
lish Major and two or three interpreters. The 
stage was set for a tragedy and it quickly fol- 
lowed. The main body of the Indians accom- 
panied the English for a few miles on the re- 
turn march to Maiden. But they did not con- 
tinue their march. Early on the morning of 
the following day, hundreds of them returned 
to the scene of the preceding day's battle, hid- 
eous in their war paint and rending the air 
with their murderous yells of triumph. They 
broke into and plundered the houses where 
lay the sick and wounded whom they mur- 
dered and scalped. Captain Hickman, a 
wounded officer of the Kentucky troops, was 
dragged from his bed, tomahawked, scalped 
and thrust back into the house which had 
sheltered him and which was immediately set 
on fire. The houses where most of the 
wounded lay were fired and the suflfering 
wounded men, who had been surrendered to 
an English officer on his promise to protect 
them, were burned to death in the beds from 
which their wounds prevented their escaping. 
Those wdio were equal to attempting escape 

w ere met by the red demons, tomahawked and 
scalped. None escaped their savage fury. 
Major Woolfolk, Alajor Graves, Captain 
Hart, other officers of lesser grade and all the 
private soldiers, met the same fate, either at 
Frenchtown, or on the road to Maiden. And 
Proctor had solemnly promised protection to 
the sick and wounded. The value of an Eng- 
lish officer's word, at least in those days, may 
be estimated by the bloody record written by 
savage hands on the banks of the River Rai- 
sin, where lie the whitening bones of hundreds 
of murdered Kentuckians. 

The American army's loss was almost total. 
There w-ere two hundred and ninety men 
killed in actual conflict or murdered by the 
savages ; five hundred and ninety-two were 
made prisoners, and a mere handful — thirty- 
three, escaped. Of the English troops, their 
commander reported one hundred and eighty- 
two killed and wounded. He made no report of 
the Indian losses, perhaps because he had no 
use for a dead Indian; the only Indian who 
was valuable to him was one who would mur- 
der, scalp and burn his sick and wounded ene- 
mies to whom he had promised protection. 

The story of that English commander. Col- 
onel Hamilton, whom Gen. George Rogers 
Clark called "the hair buyer," has been told at 
an earlier period in this work. Hamilton of- 
fered a premium for the scalps of white men, 
women and children brought to him by the 
Indians. Proctor, it seems, profited by this 
early scheme of his fellow-butcher Hamilton, 
and also ofiFered a price for scalps. The In- 
dians learned that by refraining from murder- 
ing their white captives and holding them for 
ransom, they could receive a greater return 
than Proctor paid for scalps. Therefore, the 
returns from the scalp industry fell ofif and 
Proctor, making inquiries, learned that the 
trade in ransoms had aflfected the market for 
scalps. He therefore issued an order "for- 
bidding individuals to ransom any more pris- 
oners of the Indians," but at the same time 



continuing the proffered price for the scalps 
of men. women and children. 

The English language usually supplies a 
medium for the full expression of any senti- 
ment, but it is sadly at fault in that it has no 
words with which to properly characterize this 
atrocity of Proctor's. To call him a beast or 
a brute is to cast a stigma upon every animal 
of field or forest. 

That the conduct of Proctor met the ap- 
proval of his superiors in command, is shown 
by the congratulatory order of the command- 
er-in-chief, who announced his gratification 
at the butchery of sick and wounded prison- 
ers and commended Proctor for the notable 
display of his gallantry "in his humane and 
unwearied exertions which succeeded in res- 
cuing the vanquished from the revenge of the 

Indian warriors." It may. therefore, be con- 
cluded that the British government was en- 
tirely willing to use as allies savages who 
could only be prevented from wreaking ven- 
geance on the sick and wounded "by the hu- 
mane and unwearied exertions" of English 

For this modern exhibition of savage bar- 
barity on the part of an officer of an English 
army. Proctor was promoted to be a brigadier 
general. It is difficult to understand this mod- 
eration. It was to be expected that he would 
be made nothing less than a lieutenant gen- 
eral at least. Certain organizations of today, 
in our own country' and in the piping times of 
peace, make lieutenant generals of even 
cheaper material than Proctor. 


Isaac Shelby to the Front — General Green Clay — Investment of Fort Meigs — Disas- 
ter TO Raw Kentuckians — Tecumseh Stops Massacre — British Withdraw to Mal- 
DEN — A Dearly Bought Lesson — Johnson's Kentucky Cavalry — Heroic Defense 
OF Fort Stephenson — Shelby Takes the Field — Kentucky Sharpshooters with 
Perry — Victory Electrifies Land Forces — Gallant Charge of Johnson's Cavalry 
— Indian Defeat — Tecumseh's Death — Heroic Johnson Family — Honor to Shelby 
and Others — A Kentucky Victory — Campaign Against the Pottawattomies — War 
Centers in New Orleans — Kentucky Troops En Route — First Naval Fight — Jack- 
son Proclaims Martial Law — British Attacked at Bayou Bienville — Jackson 
Chooses Another Position — Americans Cannonaded, and Cannonade. 

When the news came from the River Rai- 
sin, 'there were few famihes in Kentucky that 
were not stricken with grief. The very flower 
of the young men of the state was represented 
in the ranks of the volunteers who had bared 
their bosoms to the storm of savage battle 
and gone down to death in that awful strife. 
But the feeling was not all of grief. There 
was even a deeper feeling than any personal 
sorrow, a feeling that the disaster must be re- 
trieved ; that the victors, white savages and 
red, should be made to feel the hand of retri- 
bution. The people, young and old, had never 
been so aroused as now. 

That sturdy old patriot, Isaac Shelby, had 
again come into the governorship as the suc- 
cessor of Governor Scott. As governor, he 
was commander-in-chief of all the military 
forces of the state, but was not expected to 
engage in active service. But the people knew 
his worth as a soldier, which had been proven 
in the Revolution, and the legislature, recog- 
nizing the voice of the people, adopted a reso- 
lution asking the sturdy old patriot to take 
command in the field of a new levy of mili- 
tia, authorizing him to call for three thousand 

troops. At once, he responded and ordered 
that the troops called for should compose four 
regiments, to be commanded by Colonels Bos- 
well, Dudley, Caldwell and Cox, the brigade 
thus formed to be commanded by Gen. Green 
Clay. The first two regiments were hastily 
assembled at Newport and hurried to Fort 
Meigs, a new defense recently constructed at 
the Rapids. 

Gen. Green Clay was a Virginian who came 
in early life to Kentucky, settling in Madison 
county. He was from the beginning of his 
career in Kentucky a noted man. He was first 
appointed a deputy surveyor of Lincoln 
county when it w'as one of the three counties 
of Kentucky district. He was a delegate from 
Madison county to the Virginia convention 
which ratified the constitution of the United 
States. He served twenty years in the Ken- 
tucky legislature and was the author of the 
charter of the Bank of Kentucky. He was a 
member of the convention which framed the 
second constitution of Kentucky in 1799, and 
in 1808 was speaker of the senate. After a 
long and useful life, he died in 1826, leaving 
a large estate. He left two sons — Cassius M. 




Clay and Brutus Clay — each of whom was a 
man of great mental force and high character. 
Those who have read the chapter on slavery 
in Kentucky, published in this work, will have 
formed an estimate of General Cassius M. 
Clay, "the old Lion of A\'hitehall," who was 
one of these sons. 

Proctor, the butcher, again appears upon 
the scene. In April, 1S13, information was 
received that he proposed to invest Fort MeigS 
and force its surrender. By this time he was 
probably hungering for another saturnalia. In 
addition to this desire for murder and out- 
rage, there was the attraction of a large quan- 
tity of military stores at the fort. He had 
added to his Indian allies, Tecumseh — the 
ablest military genius the Indian race has ever 
developed — together with his brother. The 
Prophet, and six hundred warriors. Tecum- 
seh is said to have borne a commission as a 
brigadier general in the English army. 

April 28th, the new fort was invested, the 
Indians crossing the river to that side on which 
the fort was situated, while the English artil- 
lery was planted upon the opposite side and 
bore upon the fort. Afay 1st the battle was 
begun by the artillerj' of the enemy, which was 
promptly responded to by that of the Ameri- 
can forces. There was a deal of noise, but, as 
is usual in artillery duels, no great harm was 
done. After two days of this inffectual war- 
fare, the enemy opened fire from a hitherto 
concealeid battery on the same side of the river 
as the fort, but this was speedily silenced by 
the Americans. 

Two days later information was received at 
the fort that General Green Clay was at Fort 
Defiance with twelve hundred Kentucky vol- 
unteers. Orders were at once sent to General 
Clay to descend the river ; land eight hundred 
of his men on the north shore : attack and 
crush the enemy, capture and spike his guns 
and then, regaining his boats, cross the river 
and joint the forces in the fort, after rejoin- 

ing his four hvmdred men and fighting his 
way through the Indians. 

These orders would have been easy of exe- 
cution by veteran troops, but these soldiers 
were untrained militia, gallant enough for any 
enterprise, but unacquainted with the neces- 
sity of absolute obedience to orders in the 
camp or in action. Colonel Dudley landed his 
eight hundred men, as directed, and stormed 
the batteries successfully, capturing all the 
guns. Instead of crossing the river as he had 
been ordered, he and his force pursued a body 
of the enemy who fired upon them and then 
fled. Pursuing these Canadians and Indians 
for some two miles, Dudley's forces were 
flanked by the British. Of this force of eight 
hundred men less than two hundred escaped 
and made their way safely to the fort, .\mong 
those lost was Colonel Dudley, who was first 
wounded and later murdered by the Indians. 

The prisoners taken in this affair -were 
placed in old Fort Meigs, where they were 
fired upon at will by the Indians. Some of 
these prisoners were led from among their fel- 
low captives to the gate of the fort where they 
were shot down in the presence of General 
Proctor and then tomahawked and scalped. 
After a score or more had been thus ruthlessly 
murdered without a word of protest from 
Proctor, Tecumseh, who had been made aware 
of what was going on, galloped to the scene 
ordering the Indians to desist from killing 
defenseless prisoners. Of the two savages. 
Proctor and Tecumseh, it is easy to distin- 
guish the nobler man of the two. The re- 
maining prisoners, several hundred in num- 
ber, after suffering untold horrors in the hold 
of a small brig for two days, were liberated 
on parole. 

General Clay, after detaching Colonel Dud- 
ley, as reported, proceeded to the new Fort 
Aleigs. fighting his way through a large body 
of Indians. General Harrison, observing the 
advance of General Clav's force of about five 



hundred men, ordered the regulars to the 
number of about three hundred to attack the 
batteries of the enemy on the south side of the 
river. This force, under the command of 
Colonel Miller and Major Todd, charged eight 
hundred of the enemy inflicting severe loss 
upon them, capturing and spiking the artil- 
lery and bringing to the fort forty-one prison- 
ers'. The force which they had routed out- 
numbered them about three to one. Proctor, 
in this engagement, commanded a force of 
thirty-two hundred men, while that of Gen- 
eral' Harrison numbered about twenty-five 
hundred. It was a defeat for the American 
forces of painful import, coming so soon after 
that at Frenchtown on the River Raisin, but 
the Americans were not disheartened. They 
had had their baptism of fire and were not 
unwilling to meet the English, Indians and 
Canadians again. 

Proctor, at the conclusion of the day's fight- 
ing, sent in a demand for the surrender of the 
fort, but General Harrison treated the de- 
mand with the derision which it deserved. 
Proctor was merely "sparring for time." As 
a matter of fact his chief desire was not to 
capture Fort Meigs, but to get away from its 
vicinity as quickly as possible. His artillery 
had been captured and destroyed ; many of his 
men had been killed or wounded, and, in addi- 
tion, he had heard of the disaster to the Brit- 
ish forces at Fort George which had been cap- 
tured by the American forces. Then, too, his 
fellow-savages were beginning to be dissatis- 
fied and were leaving him. Facing these mis- 
fortunes was more than he could withstand 
and he withdrew his forces to his former sta- 
tion at ]\Ialden. 

What appeared at the beginning to be a cer- 
tain victory for the American arms was 
changed to a defeat and strangely enough, that 
condition came about by the ardor of a por- 
tion of the troops engaged. Had Colonel Dud- 
ley and his untrained Kentucky militia obeyed 
orders after capturing the enemy's batteries 

on the north side of the river and had not gone 
in pursuit of the flying enemy, but had crossed 
the river instead. General Harrison would 
have won the victory he had planned. That 
gallant soldier and gentleman recognized this 
fact but in his report of the battle used far 
gentler words than could have been expected 
from him or, perhaps would have been used 
by a less splendid soldier. He said in that re- 
port : "It rarely occurs that a general has to 
complain of the excessive ardor of his men, 
yet such appears always to be the case when 
Kentucky militia are engaged. It is, indeed, 
the source of all their misfortunes ; they ap- 
pear to think that valor alone can accomplish 
everything." Were ever kindly praise and de- 
served rebuke so generously combined as in 
this report ? 

The characteristics of the Kentucky soldier 
were such that he was never amenable to dis- 
cipline, as were men of less information. As 
a rule, the Kentucky private soldier has ranked 
as high in the social scale at home, as the men 
whom he chose to command him in the field. 
From a social and intellectual standpoint they 
were equals at home — sometimes the private 
soldier may have held a higher rank — and it 
was difficult for the private to realize that it 
was the duty of his officers to do most of his 
thinking for him. Then, too, the private rea- 
soned that he had entered the service to fight 
the enemy, and when an opportunity presented 
to do so, he did not understand why he should 
not make the most of it. As some one has 
said : "This is magnificent, but it is not war." 
The disasters which had befallen the Amer- 
ican arms in the opening of this campaign 
would have destroyed the morale of less de- 
termined men than those who formed the 
army of General Harrison. The cowardly 
surrender of General Hull at the very incep- 
tion of the war ; the inexplicable negligence of 
General Winchester, who permitted his army 
to lie down to peaceful dreams along the River 
Raisin without a single vidette between him 



and his trained and watcliful enemy; the im- 
petuous disobedience of orders by Colonel 
Dudley and his men — all these had been costly 
to the American cause. Nearly five thousand 
men had been killed, wounded or captured. 
But the dearly bought lesson was not without 
its value. The regulars had learned how to 
fight Indians and the volunteers learned how 
to fight like regulars. Such a combination — 
trained regulars and equally trained volun- 
teers — was irresistible, a fact that the veter- 
ans of England's armies were to be taught be- 
fore the war had been concluded. 

There appeared upon the military scene 
about this time a Kentuckian who was to be- 
come an important figure in the war as well as 
in the politics of the nation. Among the Ken- 
tuckians then serving in congress was Col. 
Richard M. Johnson, of Scott county. Upon 
the adjournment of congress, this gentleman 
hastened to Kentucky and organized a regi- 
ment of cavalry of which he became the col- 
onel ; his brother, James Johnson, lieutenant 
colonel, and Duval Payne and David Thomp- 
son, majors. This regiment was first em- 
ployed in June and July in expeditions against 
the Indians in the northwest but without great 
results, as the savage warriors from that sec- 
tion were largely engaged with Proctor at 
Maiden, or with other British officers in that 
section. But if these new cavalrymen were 
not meeting the enemy, they were learning dis- 
cipline, the drill, and what it means to be sol- 
diers. Their work was being cut out for them 
elsewhere and, all unconsciously, they were 
being fitted for it. And well, in after days, 
did they prove the value of drill and disci- 
pline. They are to be heard from hereafter. 

General Harrison being called elsewhere in 
the military district under his command, left 
Fort Meigs after the siege had been raised, 
General Clay succeeding him in command. On 
July 20th, the British, with their Indian al- 
lies, again confronted the fort, but speedily 

withdrew, owing to the sturdy resistance of- 
fered by General Clay and his men. 

General Proctor, with thirteen hundred 
British troops and Indians — he never ventured 
outside his fort without Indian support — ap- 
peared before Fort Stephenson at Sandusky, 
Ohio. The fort was garrisoned by one hun- 
dred and sixty men commanded by Major 
Croghan, a Kentuckian, aged twenty-one years 
and a nephew of Gen. George Rogers Clark, 
the hero of Vincennes. Croghan had as his 
armament one six-pound gun. Proctor, who 
had several pieces of artillery, began, on Au- 
gT-ist 2d, a bombardment of the fort, prepara- 
tory to an assault. Croghan and his men re- 
plied to this assault with such vigor that Proc- 
tor was repulsed and driven off, with a loss of 
one hundred and fifty killed and wounded. 
The loss of the American forces was one 
killed and seven wounded. Croghan had been 
ordered by General Harrison to abandon the 
fort, if attacked, as he considered it untena- 
ble. Croghan was one of those Kentuckians 
who had gone into the army with the idea that 
he was there to fight and not to run away. He 
disobeyed orders; fought and won a battle; 
saved an important fort and shed a ray of sun- 
shine into the American camp which had 
known only gloom so long. 

General Harrison, undismayed by the loss 
of a victory of which he had been robbed by 
the rash impetuosity of Kentucky volunteers, 
wanted some more of the same brand of fight- 
ers and therefore called upon Governor Shelby 
for not less than two hundred nor more than 
four thousand Kentucky volunteers. The gal- 
lant old soldier-governor issued a call for as 
many volunteers as would meet him at New- 
port on August 31st. The splendid old sol- 
dier said: "I will meet you there in person. 
I will lead you to the field of battle and share 
with you the dangers and honors of the cam- 
paign." Did ever clearer clarion call summon 
men to battle than this? Thirty-five hundred 




fighting men hearkened to the call, and met 
the old hero of King's Mountain at the ap- 
pointed rendezvous. These he formed into 
eleven regiments and five brigades commanded 
by Generals Calmes, Chiles, King, Allen and 
Caldwell. These brigades formed two divi- 
sions commanded by Major Generals William 
Henry and Joseph Desha, with Governor 
Shelby as commander-in-chief. 

That Kentucky had not grown weary in 
well-doing is shown by the response to Gov- 
ernor Shelby's call. In addition. Col. Richard 
M. Johnson's regiment had been increased to 
twelve hundred men who had been brought 
to a high state of efficiency in drill and mili- 
tary capacity by the untiring efforts of Lieu- 
tenant Col. James Johnson, who was as well- 
informed in military maneuvers as was his 
better known brother. Col. R. M. Johnson, in 
the minutias of politics. 

McAfee, in his excellent history of those 
early and exciting days, and who w-as a cap- 
tain of volunteers, says : "The 9th of Septem- 
ber, 181 3, was appointed by the president for 
fasting, humiliation and prayer. Throughout 
the camp, many groups of soldiers could be 
seen paying their devotions to God, and chant- 
ing His praises with simple zeal and sincerity, 
while the less pious preserved the strictest or- 
der and decorum. The author could not but 
feel a deep reverence, approaching a complete 
reliance, that the special protection of Heaven 
would be enjoyed by the American army while 
fighting in the sacred cause of justice and 

It has been heretofore stated that General 
Harrison first suggested the building of a fleet 
of vessels to sweep from Lake Erie the haugh- 
ty navy of Great Britain. That suggestion had 
been approved at Washington and its fruits 
were now to become apparent. When the for- 
ests of Lake Erie had been transformed into 
a defensive force and General Harrison had 
been informed that all was in readiness for an 
attack upon the British fleet, he detailed one 

full company, under Captain Stockton and 
twenty men from the company of Captain 
Payne, all of the detail being Kentuckians, to 
join the fleet of Commodore Perry as sharp- 
shooters. At last General Harrison had found 
a place for his Kentuckians where they could 
not disobey orders ; run after the enemy, and 
into an ambuscade. One must wonder if 
General Harrison did not indulge in a quiet 
chuckle when he issued the order for this de- 
tail. However that tuay be, the Kentuckians, 
landsmen every one, went cheerfully aboard 
Perry's vessels and did their duty. History 
can add nothing to the deetls of that day. The 
story is imperishable. 

It is not necessary here to go into all the 
details of that contest on Lake Erie. One may 
be pardoned for an enumeration of the con- 
testants. The American vessels were the brigs 
"Lawrence," "Niagara," and "Caledonia," 
forty-three gims ; schooners, "Ariel," "Scor- 
pion," "Tigress," "Somers" and "Porcupine," 
twelve gims ; and sloop "Trigg," one gun ; to- 
tal, fifty-six gims. The British had the ships 
"Detroit" and "Queen Charlotte," thirty-nine 
guns ; brig "Himter," ten guns ; schooners 
"Provost" and "Chippeway," seventeen guns; 
and sloop "Little Belt," three guns ; total, six- 
ty-nine gims. It is not proposed here to re- 
capitulate the story of the great victory won 
by Commodore Perry on Lake Erie. All the 
world knows its details and its results. 

September 12th, Gen. Harrison repeated to 
General Shelby a duplicate of the characteris- 
tic report of Commodore Perry: 

"United States Brig NiAc-iRA, September 10. 
1813 — Dear General : We have met the enemy and 
they are ours — two ships, two brigs, one schooner 
and a sloop. 


"Oliver Hazard Perrv." 

It is a very gratifying reflection that not a 
vessel of the British force had escaped The 
mistress of the seas, as England had been 
known, had been defeated by a naval force be- 



longing to the colonies that had torn them- 
selves loose from Great Britain and set up for 
themselves as an independent government. It 
was difficult for England to recognize that her 
colonies, peopled by English blood, should suc- 
cessfully oppose what they called the "mother 
country."' But the mother country had turned 
loose upon them a horde of savages and there 
was nothing to oppose this force but utter ex- 

General Harrison, learning of the victory 
his soldiers had won, was electrified, as his 
troops were, and was ready to invade Canada 
at once. September 14th, the army embarked 
under Commodore Perry, and was landed four 
miles below Maiden, in array of battle. Gen- 
eral Proctor was expected to meet the Ameri- 
can forces at once and give them battle. But 
they were disappointed. Advancing upon the 
old fort, they found it not only evacuated but 
burned. The British had not only burned the 
fort and navy yard but had fled up the rivers 
Detroit and Thames. General Harrison at 
once followed the flying enemy to Sandwich, 
where he went into camp. Major Charles S. 
Todd was sent forward across the river to 
intercept the mounted regiment of Col. R. M. 
Johnson and to order it over to the main body 
of the forces. The American forces followed 
Proctor for several days, during which some 
stores were captured. Proctor was brought 
to bay and finally forced to fight. 

October 5th, the American forces were no- 
tified that the British forces were in line of 
battle but a few miles in the front. General 
Harrison was ready for them, however they 
might attack him. Ordering his forces for 
the attack, he placed Col. Richard M. John- 
son's cavalry regiment on the right wing, with 
orders to attack and at the right moment to 
charge through the British ranks, wheel to 
their flank, charge upon them from their rear 
and fire volleys upon them from this advan- 
tageous position. This cavalry regiment, like 
their grandsons and great-grandsons years 

afterwards in the Confederate army, had no 
sabers and depended entirely upon their guns. 
On the charge they cried "Remember the Rai- 
sm." The cry ran along the lines and all the 
men, most of whom were Kentuckians, re- 
echoed it. 

Colonel Johnson found that his regiment 
was hampered by the narrow space between 
tlie swamp and the river, and that he could not 
properly maneuver it. To the end that he 
could properly handle the regiment, he sent his 
splendid and soldierly brother. Lieutenant Col- 
onel James John.son, to the right, and led the 
remaining half to the left wing to charge Te- 
cumseh and his savage support. The cry 
which drove these splendid Kentucky boy sol- 
(hers to victory was : "Remember the Raisin," 
and with the force of veteran soldiery, they 
went into battle, facing without hesitancy, the 
fiercest fire of the enemy. The contest was 
but a short one. Witiiin ten minutes it had 
concluded, and the English had thrown down 
their guns and surrendered to the American 
forces. Eight hundred English troops had 
surrendered to less than half of their own 
number. General Proctor, however, had been 
very careful as to himself, and had escaped 
capture. Colonel Johnson and his gallant reg- 
iment had made for themselves a record which 
would last as long as the history of Kentucky. 

But the battle was not yet at an end. The 
fighting was continuous, all the Kentucky rifle- 
men being engaged. Col. "Dick" Johnson and 
his gallant cavalrymen, had already performed 
gallant service, but there was yet work for 
them to do. The Indian forces on the right 
wing must be met and driven away. An at- 
tack was made upon these men who reserved 
their fire until the white troops were near by. 
Then they fired and Colonel Johnson was one 
of the wounded. Dismounting his men, as 
was the Confederate custom many years later, 
he advanced them in line in the front of the 
enemy who gave way after ten minutes of 
fierce fighting. Hand to hand the white troops 



met the savage forces and when the latter had 
withdrawn, it was found that they had left be- 
hind among their dead, their leader, Tecum- 
seh, who had fallen in personal conflict, at the 
hand of Col. Richard M. Johnson. The news 
of their leader's death spread consternation 
among the Indians who immediately fled to 
the rear. 

Governor Shelby, the splendid old pioneer 
and soldier, learning that Colonel Johnson had 
killed Tecumseh, and that the Indians were 
demoralized, ordered a general advance. Re- 
inforced by Donelson's regiment, they drove 
the British and their savage allies beyond their 
immediate reach. 

There have been many statements about the 
death of Tecumseh, but the bulk of the testi- 
mony has favored the contention that he fell 
at the hands of Colonel Johnson. Those who 
were present in the battle when Tecumseh was 
killed, say that Colonel Johnson killed him ; 
some who were not present, say that he did 
not. The reader having no prejudice, the one 
way or the other, may form his own conclu- 
sions. However it may be, the Indians, after 
learning that their leader, Tecumseh, had 
fallen had but little heart for further battle. 
Colonel Johnson, the gallant leader of the 
Kentucky cavalry, had been painfully 
wounded. McAfee, the historian, who fought 
for Kentucky first, and wrote about it after- 
wards, said of the loss of Tecumseh : "The 
Indians had lost by the fall of Tecumseh a 
chief in whom were united the powers of 
Achilles and the authority of Agamemnon." 
Though these references to ancient lore may 
have been unintelligible to many of those who 
had opposed Tecumseh, there were not lack- 
ing those who remembered with gratitude that 
he had interposed his authority to save the 
helpless prisoners whom the savage Proctor 
was permitting to be murdered in his presence. 
In subsequent political campaigns, the ques- 
tion as to whether Colonel Johnson did or did 
not kill Tecumseh was supposed to be of su- 

preme importance — so pitiful and small are 
the ways of the professional politician. 

However the question may have been finally 
decided, there is no doubt about the fact that 
Colonel Johnson served faithfully his state in 
the United States senate for eighteen years, 
and the people of the entire country for four 
years as vice-president. Not only was Rich- 
ard M. Johnson a brave and soldierly officer, 
hut there were others of his family possessing 
the same high traits. His brother, James, was 
lieutenant colonel of his regiment of cavalry 
and as gallant a man as any who served with 
him. The author, for personal reasons, being 
of the same blood as these heroic gentlemen, 
prefers that another's estimate of their char- 
acter shall be given here. Smith, in his ex- 
cellent "History of Kentucky," says: "Many 
3-et living will still remember the brothers, 
Richard M., James, and John T. Johnson, for- 
merly of Scott county. They were the im- 
jjersonation of the heroic in character. For 
their country, patriotism knew no sacrifice 
they were not ever ready to ofier up. For 
the neighbors and friends in need, no bounds 
were ever set to the generous disposal of their 
services and possessions. Wherever duty 
called, all idea of self was obscured in the 
devotions of performance. Not Percy nor 
Richard were more impetuous and daring on 
the field of battle where the front of peril was 
the point they ever sought, to make of them- 
selves an example and shield for their devoted 
followers. The first-named was honored by 
his countrymen with a seat in congress and 
finally with the vice-presidency of the United 
States. The last-named, John T. Johnson, 
also left the halls of congress, under a sense 
of duty and loyalty to an authority higher than 
human, to tievote his life services to the min- 
istry of religion in which he gave the same im- 
passioned and self-denying consecration that 
had distinguished the trio of brothers in other 
spheres of duty." 

General Harrison, in his official report, says 




of Colonel Johnson's regiment: "It would be 
useless to pass encomiums on Colonel John- 
son and his regiment. Veterans could not 
have manifested more firmness. The colonel's 
wounds prove him to have been at the post 
of danger. Lieutenant Colonel Johnson and 
Majors Payne and Thompson were equally 

These gallant Kentucky cavalrymen were 
not the only Kentuckians who won the praise 
of the commanding officer. After evincing 
his high appreciation of the services rendered 
him by Capt. Charles S. Todd, General Harri- 
son says, and again a quotation is made from 
Smith : "I am at a loss how to mention the 
merits of Governor Shelby, being convinced 
that no eulogium of mine can do them justice. 
The governor of an independent state and 
greatly my superior in years, in experience and 
in military fame, he placed himself under my 
command and was not more remarkable for 
his zeal and activity than for the promptitude 
and cheerfulness with which he obeyed my or- 
ders. Major Generals Henry and Desha, and 
Brigadier Generals Allen, Caldwell, King, 
Chiles and Trotter, all of the Kentucky volun- 
teers, manifested great zeal and activity. Of 
Governor Shelby's staff, Adjutant General 
McDowell and Quartermaster General Walker 
rendered great services, as did his aides. Gen- 
eral Adair and Majors Barry and Crittenden." 

Going back to the results of this battle, it 
may be stated that in addition to the loss of 
Tecumseh, an irreparable one, the Indians 
were driven away by a force of not one-third 
their number and that every member of this 
force was a Kentucky volunteer. So great 
was the victory won by General Harrison 
that the shattered tribes sent messengers to 
him begging for peace. He, on the principle 
of fighting the devil with his own fire, had en- 
gaged certain Indians in his service with the 
rigid restriction that they should observe the 
rules of civilized warfare and indulge in none 
of the murderous excesses which had marked 

the career of Proctor and his fellow-savages. 
Others of the Indians now came seeking ser- 
vice under him, but none were received who 
would not accede to the severe terms he had 

The victorious Kentuckians, after the suc- 
cess that had attended their service, returned 
to their homes crowned with the sense of a 
duty well performed, and were mustered out 
of the service. 

There was little more of service for Ken- 
tucky troops in the north after this, with one 
exception. The Pottawottomie Indians did 
not seem to know when they were whipped 
and showed an inclination to continue in the 
service of the English government. Ohio and 
Kentucky were called upon for five hundred 
men each to teach these Indians the pleasant- 
ness of the paths of peace. Kentuckv re- 
sponded with seven companies of volunteers, 
under the command of Major Peter Dudley, 
who joined the body of troops commanded by 
General McArthur, who forthwith marched 
into Canada into which he penetrated some 
two hundred miles, having almost daily skir- 
mishes with the enemy. Finally, he struck a 
force of about five hundred men whom he at- 
tacked and dispersed, with a loss to the enemy 
of one hundred and sixty, killed, wounded and 
prisoners. Having accomplished this complete 
success, the volunteers returned to Sandwich, 
where the enlisted men received honorable dis- 
charges. They had not met the Pottawatto- 
mies against whom they were supposed to 
proceed, but by a military diversion against 
others of the enemy, they had won a success 
which taught the Pottawattomies a useful les- 
son and that tribe no longer disturbed them. 
General McArthur generously awarded praise 
to Majors Todd and Dudley and Captain 
Bradford for the excellence of their service 
in this short campaign. 

The English, despite their use of the savage 
tribes in the north and northwest, had stead- 
ily lost in some important engagements. It is 



true that Hull had ignominously surrendered 
to them and that Winchester, by his strange 
failure to throw out \-idettes, had permitted 
the enemy to surprise him, but we had won 
some victories neverthel^s when General 
Harrison came upon the scene. Harrison 
made no mistakes, no surrenders. If there was 
fighting to be done, he was there on the spot 
and ready to do it. If a retreat was to be 
made, he conducted it without permitting it to 
become a rout. In a word, he was a soldier 
who knew his business and when he joined 
hands with bluflF old Governor Shelby, of Ken- 
tucky, there was no English general who was 
their equal, and neither of them knew the 
meaning of the word defeat. Wnen they put 
their forces and their heads together things 
b^an to happen with a celerit>- which sur- 
prised and demoralized the enemy. 

The eyes of the countrj- now turned to the 
south, as England had been whipped every- 
where else and there needed but one more ^-ic- 
torj- to convince our English cousins that their 
room was better than their company on this 
continent. And they did not have to wait 
king for the lesson. They had won a great 
viCTor>- at \\"aterloo. assisted as usual, by the 
forces of another country; Napoleon had 
taken up his residence at St. Helena, and for 
the first time since the beginning of his me- 
teoric career England was able to take a free 
breath. She had the scourge of Europe safely 
co(q)ed up, and from him no longer feared 
reprisals. She would send over to America 
the troops who had successfully met the 
French at Waterloo — Blucher and his Ger- 
mans helping them — and speedily reduce the 
Americans to a state of 5ubser\-ienc)-. That 
was the plan of the British cabinet, but they 
reckoned without their host. There were some 
people on this side of the Atlantic who had 
not been consulted and who held views dia- 
metrically opposed to those of the cabinet. 
They also held gtms with which to enforce 
those views. 

The English troops who had taken and 
burned Washington, were to proceed to New 
Orleans, there to be jcnned by the victors of 
Waterloo. This was a beautiful scheme, had 
it worked out as arranged by the English cab- 
inet, but there was a failure in the plans and 
England suffered yet another humiliation. 

^\"hen the plans of the English became 
known, the war department ordered twenty- 
five hundred Kentucky militia to join the 
Georgia and Tennessee recruits as reinforce- 
ments for General Jackson at New Orleans, 
thus increasing his force of regulars and vol- 
unteers from Louisiana and the Mississippi 
territory to about fourteen thousand men. 

New Orleans, then as now, had a population 
largely composed of people of Spanish and 
French blood. These people had never taken 
kindly to the possession of Louisiana by the 
L'nited States. The French avowed allegiance 
to the crown of France, while it was beheved 
that the Spaniards would declare sj-mpathy 
with the EngUsh. There were but a few 
Americans, comparatively speaking, in the cit}-, 
but these were loyal to their countr}\ The 
legislature which was in session was thought 
to be disloyal to the L'nited States and was 
taking no steps for the protection of the cit}- 
of New Orleans against the threatened inva- 
sion by the EngUsh. But there was a strong 
body of citizens who welcomed the coming of 
General Jackson and gave him a moral sup- 
port which was of great value in the trj-ing 
days which confronted him. 

By the latter days of November, the Ken- 
tuck}-. Tennessee and Georgia militia which 
had been ordered to the support of General 
Jackson, were en route dow-n the river. The 
Kentuck}- forces were under the command of 
Gen. John Thomas, whose adjutant general 
was John Adair, a trained and gallant sol- 
dier, who should have been in command by 
reason of his experience in the field and the 
splendid record he had made. 

General Jackson, late in November, trans- 



ferred his command from Mobile to Xew Or- 
leans, reaching the latter place about Decem- 
ber I, 1814. He at once began preparations 
for defense and was fortunate in having the 
governor of Louisiana order the organized 
militia to his support, several bodies thereof 
being already in the field at the time of his ar- 
rival at New Orleans. Guards were posted 
by General Jackson at all points by which it 
was expected the coming enemy would at- 
tempt to reach the city. New Orleans is vul- 
nerable to attack from many directions, owing 
to the deep water of the various bayous which 
surround it, most of which lead into Lake 
Pontchartrain which lies in its rear. But Gen- 
eral Jackson was on the ground in advance of 
the enemy and omitted no defensive opera- 
tions along any of these waterways. 

The hostile fleet made its appearance on 
the 1 2th of December, making its rendezvous, 
with forty sail, at Ship Island, off Bay St. 
Louis, whence, if unopposed, it could make 
its way, to Lake Pontchartrain and attack the 
citv from the rear. Lieutenant Jones, in com- 
mand of the American naval forces, was at- 
tacked by a flotilla of the enemy largely out- 
numbering him. The action which lasted for 
about two hours, was a very bloody one, the 
enemy losing about three hundred men. The 
American loss was but five killed and thirty 
wounded. Among these latter were Lieuten- 
ants Jones and Lockyer. These gallant young 
officers had been under fire before at \'alpa- 
raiso where the gallantry of themselves and 
the men under their command, had added new 
laurels to the American navy. 

That portion of the population of New Or- 
leans which was loyal to the American cause, 
was alarmed by the result of this engagement. 
The English army was not far away and the 
last barrier to its approach and capture of the 
city seemed to be now swept away. Jackson 
had four thousand men for the defense of the 
city, three thousand of whom were volunteers 
and with these he had to meet and. if possi- 

ble, defeat the best trained soldiers of Eng- 

General Jackson was not a soldier to hesi- 
tate; he knew the conditions surrounding him 
and met them as a soldier should. Fearing 
that steps might be taken by the civil authori- 
ties which would interfere with his plans for 
the protection of the city against the enemy, 
he placed New Orleans and its immediate sur- 
roundings, under martial law. The word 
"fearing" was used at the beginning of the 
preceding sentence. It was incorrect, for it is 
not on record that General Jackson ever feared 
anything. "Anticipating" would more prop- 
erly describe the feeling which prompted the 
issue of his order. Those who sympathized 
with the plan of defense approved the order; 
those who did not, and there were many of 
these, were careful not to make publicly 
known their opposition. The order was dras- 
tic in its terms. All persons entering the city 
were required to report their arrival to the 
adjutant general of the army ; those leaving 
the city must have a passport from the mili- 
tary or naval authorities. All lights on the 
city streets were required to be extinguished 
by nine o'clock in the evening, and those per- 
sons found abroad after that hour were under 
suspicion as spies. All male persons within 
the limits covered by the order were forced 
into the service and required to join either the 
land or naval forces. 

There will be those who read these words 
who will esteem these orders as harsh and in- 
fringing on the rights of the citizen. But in 
the midst of arms, the laws are silent. To 
such as would too harshly criticize these orders 
of General Jackson, it may only be necessary 
to call attention to conditions existing in 
Louisville in 1862, when the Confederate army 
under command of General Bragg threatened 
to occupy tlie city. Citizens were forced at 
the point of the bayonet, to assist in the con- 
struction of fortifications ; their horses were 
taken from the carriages containing the fe- 



male members of their families ; no one was 
permitted to leave or enter the cit}' without 
permission from the military authorities, and 
in every respect Louisville in September, 1862, 
occupied the position of New Orleans in De- 
cember. 1814. War is not a respecter of per- 
sons nor of civil laws, a fact which those 
within its midst cannot too soon nor too fully 

Along with the proclamation of martial 
law. General Jackson issued an address to the 
people of New Orleans, as follows: 

"The Major General commanding has learned, 
with astonishment and regret, that great consterna- 
tion and alarm pervade your city. It is true that 
the enemy is on our coast and threatens an invasion 
of our territory; but. it is equally true, that with 
energ\'. union and the approbation of Heaven, we 
will beat him at every point where his temerity may 
induce him to set foot on our soil. 

"The General, with still greater astonishment, has 
heard that British Emissaries have been permitted 
to propagate a seditious report among you that the 
threatened invasion is with a view of restoring the 
country to Spain, from a supposition that some of 
you would be willing to return to your ancient gov- 
ernment. Believe no such incredible tales. Your 
government is at peace with Spain. It is the mortal 
enemy of your country, the common enemy of man- 
kind, the highway robber of the world who threatens 
and has sent his hirelings among you with this false 
report, to put you off your guard that you may fall 
an easy prey to his rapacity. Then look to your 
liberties, property and the chastity of your wives 
and daughters. Take a retrospect of the conduct of 
the British army at Hampton and other places where 
it entered our country, and every bosom which glows 
with patriotism and virtue will be inspired with in- 
dignation, and pant for the arrival of the hour when 
we shall meet the enemy and revenge these outrages 
against the laws of civilization and humanity. 

"The General calls upon the inhabitants of the 
city to trace this unfounded rumor to its source and 
bring the perpetrator to condign punishment. The 
rules and articles of war anne.x the punishment of 
death to the crime of holding secret correspondence 
with the enemy, supplying him with provisions or 
creating false alarms, and the General announces his 
unalterable determination rigidly to execute the 

martial law in all cases which may come within his 

"The safety of the district entrusted to the pro- 
tection of the General must and will be maintained 
with the best blood of the country and he is confi- 
dent that all good citizens will be found at their posts 
with arms in their hands, determined to dispute 
every inch of tlie ground with the enemy, and that 
unanimity will pervade the whole country. But, 
should the General be disappointed in this expecta- 
tion, he will separate our enemies from our friends. 
Those who are not for us are against us and will 
be dealt with accordingly." 

This proclamation had the desired effect. 
Those not in sympathy with the American 
cause, knew the stern character of General 
Jackson and that he would execute to the 
letter, the laws of war to which he had re- 
ferred in his address to the people of New 
Orleans. Therefore, they remained silent and 
desisted from any action denounced by the 
stern old warrior, who always said what he 
meant and acted in accordance with his pro- 
nouncements. While the disaffected were 
thus driven to an enforced silence, the patri- 
otic residents of the city had new life instilled 
v^'ithin them. Arms and accoutrements were 
issued to them and they were daily drilled in 
the duties of the soldier. General Jackson, for 
the encouragement of these citizen volunteers 
and those in sympathy with them, issued a 
second address from which the following ex- 
tract is taken : 

"The General, commanding in chief, would not 
do justice to the noble ardor that has animated you 
in the hour of danger: he would not do justice to 
his own feelings, if he suffered the example you have 
shown to pass without public notice. Inhabitants of 
this opulent and commercial town, j-ou have, by your 
spontaneous efforts, shaken off the habits which are 
created by wealth and shown that you are resolved to 
deserve the blessings of fortune by bravely defending 
them. Long strangers to the perils of war, you have 
embodied yourselves to face them with the cool 
countenance of veterans ; with motives to disunion, 
that might operate on weak minds, you have for- 



gotten the difference of language and the prejudices 
of national pride and united with a cordiality that 
does honor to your understanding as well as to your 

To the defense of that portion of the city 
approachable by the innumerable bayous and 
passes in the vicinity of Lake Borgne, a force 
of volunteers was assigned under command 
of General \'illere, who was fully acquainted 
with the territory between the lake and the 
Mississippi river. General Jackson had espe- 
cially ordered that navigation of the Bayou 
Bienville be prevented, but these orders \'illere 
had not observed, a fact of which the Eng- 
lish commander took immediate notice and 
advantage. \'illere had placed a picket guard 
at the mouth of the bayou, near his own plan- 
tation, but this was not sufficient, and on De- 
cember 23d, the enemy surprised and cap- 
tured this guard and a company of troops on 
Villere's plantation. Troops to the number 
of three thousand were then taken up the 
bayou and encamped on a neighboring planta- 
tion. Notice of this movement was quickly 
brought to General Jackson, who decided 
upon an immediate attack. General Carroll, 
commanding the militia from Tennessee had 
made an unprecedented march to the scene 
of action and was ready for any orders that 
might take him and his gallant volunteers into 
action. General Carroll had his command of 
mounted men also in readiness for active ser- 
vice. Cofifee and Carroll were encamped near 
each other, four miles above New Orleans, 
and the general commanding notified them to 
be in readiness for a general attack, either 
offensive or defensive. An attack was ex- 
pected by the way of Ciief Alenteure and Car- 
roll's forces were so distributed as to properly 
meet it. General Jackson had an inferior 
force, but this did not deter him. He was not 
only ready for action but anxious for an op- 
portunity to meet the enemy. On the 23d 
of December, the commander-in-chief ap- 
proached the encampment of the British com- 

mand under cover of darkness. General Cof- 
fee was ordered to attack the British right, 
while General Jackson led the other forces 
and attacked them upon the left, while, at the 
same time. Commodore Patterson, command- 
ing the schooner "Caroline," was to fire upon 
the English camp. At half past eight Com- 
modore Patterson opened fire upon the ene- 
my's camp. Coffee's forces rushed forward 
with impetuous attack, entering the enemy's 
camp, while General Jackson, with equal ar- 
dor, attacked their left, being supported by the 
fire of the "Caroline" and two field pieces. 
The contest was a warm one for a time, but a 
fog arising caused trouble among the Ameri- 
can troops and a cessation in the battle. 

General Jackson maintained his position un- 
til four o'clock on the next morning, when he 
withdrew his forces without the enemy's hav- 
ing ascertained his numerical weakness. Re- 
treating to a point up the river where he could 
defy the enemy with even fewer troops than 
he had under his cotnmand, General Jackson 
calmly awaited attack confident in his capac- 
ity to defeat his enemy when a general en- 
gagement came, notwithstanding the superior 
force of that enemy. The British General 
Keane, commanding some of the men who 
had followed the Duke of Wellington in his 
successful campaigns, was disdainful of the 
volunteers who confronted him and imagined 
an easy victory as within his reach. But he 
had met with an unexpected reception on his 
first attack, which taught him a new lesson 
in warfare. Braddock, years before, had un- 
derestimated the military character of the 
American and sneeringly refusing to accept 
the counsel of the young American soldier, 
George Washington, had rashly gone to de- 
feat, and to death. General Keane, perhaps, 
remembering the lesson of Braddock's defeat 
and Burgoyne and Cornwallis' surrenders, put 
a higher estimate upon the military genius of 
American soldiers, determined to hold ^is 
[iresent position, if possible, until the arrival 



of General Packenliam and his forces, avoid- 
ing, in the meantime, further contest with the 
forces under the command of General Jack- 
son. He had lost four hundred killed, two 
hundred and thirty wounded and seventy pris- 
oners captured by the American forces. The 
loss of the forces under General Jackson were 
twenty-four killed, one hundred and fifteen 
wounded and seventy-four missing, supposed 
to have been captured. The large number of 
the British forces reported killed, as compared 
with those wounded, shows the superior 
marksmanship of the frontiersman to that of 
the ordinary soldier. These men had carried 
a rifle from their earliest boyhood ; they had 
used it against the savage and the wild beasts 
of the forest and had learned what it meant to 
make every shot count. Not only in this minor 
contest, but in that which was to come soon 
after, did this early attained facility with the 
weapons of warfare, stand them in good stead 
and teach such a lesson to England as has 
made that country ever since hesitate to come 
in contact with the American volunteer, the 
finest soldier who ever marched to battle. 

General Jackson was not yet ready for bat- 
tle, preferring to await the arrival of the rein- 
forcements which he knew were en route from 
Kentucky. But he lost nothing by this delay. 
Intrenchments were thrown up wherever the 
engineering force found them necessary ; artil- 
lery was placed in the most advantageous po- 
sitions, cotton bales, being used to strengthen 
the works. Fronting these works were wide 
ditches filled with water to retard the advance 
of the enemy. These ditches, it was after- 
wards developed, were unnecessary as the 
English forces never reached the immediate 
intrenchments of the American lines. 

The two American vessels, the "Louisiana" 
and the "Carolina," on December 26, drop- 
ping down the river, shelled the English lines 
and drove the enemy into the swamp. On the 
27th. the enemy sent a fire of red-hot shot 
into these two vessels, the "Louisiana" escap- 

ing injury by its distance from the assailants. 
The schooner "Carolina" being becalmed 
within range of the enemy's guns, was less 
fortunate, and soon after being abandoned by 
her commander, was blown up and destroyed. 

General Packenham, soon after his arrival, 
with large reinforcements, made an attack 
upon the defensive works of General Jackson 
on December 28, advancing his entire force 
and opening a cannonade with his entire artil- 
lery. The air was filled with every character 
of shot and shell known to the artillery service 
of that day. But artillery attacks are but 
sound and fury signifying little. Few men are 
ever killed by artillerj' fire. A tremendous 
noise is made; the earth trembles under the 
impact of the heavy gun fire and when all is 
over, it is usually found that a certain number 
of men have been frightened by the uproar 
and that but few have been killed or injured 
compared to the noise that has been made. 

In this instance, that was the real result. 
The militia, whom it was expected to throw 
into a panic with the cannonade, had speedily 
gauged the danger and found that, in no sense, 
did it compare with the noise made. They, 
therefore, declined to be stampeded by the up- 
roar, but held their ground like veterans, while 
our own artillery took the measure of the 
English and kept them at a respectful dis- 
tance. In this encounter, the enemy lost one 
hundred and twenty killed, while the Amer- 
ican loss was seven killed and eight wounded. 
For several days after this the English nursed 
their wounds in comparative quiet, nothing 
more serious than picket skirmishing occur- 
ring, the "Louisiana" occasionally making her- 
self disagreeable by dropping shells into the 
English camp. 

Admiral Cochran, of the English naval 
force, had boastfully sent word into the 
American camp that he proposed to eat his 
Christmas dinner in New Orleans, while Gen- 
eral Packenham, more disposed to delay, hav- 
ing met the volunteers unsuccessfully, named 



January ist as the day when he would dine in 
the Crescent City. But man proposed and 
God and General Jackson disposed in each of 
these cases. Admiral Cochran missed his 
Christmas dinner and General Packenham 
went where New Year's dinners are probably 

January i, 1S15, was Sunday, a day on 
which many great battles have been fought, 
not only on this continent, but in other parts 
of the world. Under cover of a heavy fog, 
the enemy advanced to a point six hundred 
yards from General Jackson's works, and 
erected three batteries mounting fifteen guns 
ranging from six to thirty-two pounders. The 
opposing forces were now closer to each other 
than they had before been. When the fog 
had lifted, they began a heavy tire upon the 
American works, attempting, at the same time, 
an assault in column with their infantry. 
These latter were speedily driven back, but 
the cannonade was continued throughout the 
day until late in the day, when the well-di- 
rected fire of the American artillery had si- 
lenced most of their guns, and, under cover of 
the night, they withdrew. The American loss 

in this artillery duel was eleven killed and 
twenty-three wounded ; that of the enemy 
must have been much greater since they aban- 
doned their position. 

General Jackson now turned his attention 
to fortifying the right bank of the Missis- 
sippi, the enemy, at the same time, also turning 
their attention in that direction. Commodore 
Patterson landed on that bank some of the 
heavy gims of the "Louisiana," as a sujjport 
for the land batteries on the left bank. Should 
the enemy attempt to force his way up the 
river, these guns would take him in flank and 
in those days of wooden ships, would probably 
have burned or sunk more than one of his ves- 
sels, as he was prepared to fire hot shot into 
them from furnaces erected near his guns. 
These hot shot would also have burned the 
buildings on the left side of the river in which 
the enemy had taken refuge. Gen. D. B. Mor- 
gan, commanding the New Orleans and Louis- 
iana volunteers, was placed near this battery 
as a support and to drive back any attack the 
enemv might make at that point. He at once 
began to throw up entrenchments and mounted 
three twelve-pounders. 


First Kentuckians to the Front — Support American Advance — American Volunteer 
vs. British Regular — "Jackson's Day" — Justice to Kentucky Soldiers — Remark- 
able New Orleans Victory — -British Withdraw — Battle After Peace Treaty. 

January 4, 1815, the expected reinforce- 
ments from Kentucky began to arrive. The 
first of these, under command of General 
Thomas, were almost destitute of arms. They 
had brought but few weapons from their 
homes, expecting to be supplied with the nec- 
essary arms on joining the army in the field. 
In this they were disappointed, as the arms 
ordered by boat from Pittsburg had failed to 

The Kentuckians were ordered into camp, 
one mile above the lines, to await the arrival 
of the expected arms or their procurement 
elsewhere. New Orleans was ransacked fr>r 
proper arms for these new forces. By the 7th 
of January, from various sources, arms were 
secured to equip the regiment of Colonel 
Slaughter and a battalion under Major Harri- 
son. These forces were then marched, one 
thousand strong, to the front under command 
of General Adair, an experienced Indian 
fighter, and were placed in support of General 
Carroll's Tennessee troops. 

The enemy, in the meantime, were endeav- 
oring by means of a canal connecting the Mis- 
sissippi river with Bayou Bienville, to draw 
their boats into a position which would enable 
them to attack Commodore Patterson and 
General Alorgan. On discovering the aims of 
the enemy, Patterson at once communicated 
them to General Jackson, with a request for 
reinforcements. General Jackson thereupon 
ordered four hundred unarmed Kentucky vol- 

unteers to proceed to the city where, it was 
expected, they would be supplied with arms 
and ammunition, after which they were to 
march down the right bank of the river and 
join General Morgan. These men marched at 
night and on arriving in the city it was found 
that arms could be had but for two hundred, 
and these arms were indifferent and not such 
as properly equipped soldiers should carry into 
battle. But such as they were, the Kentuck- 
ians accepted them and two hundred of their 
number marched to join Morgan's command, 
the remaining two hundred returning to the 
camp whence they had come. 

On the morning of January 8th, at about 
one o'clock. Commodore Patterson, observ- 
ing unusual activity in the camp of the enemy, 
promptly notified General Jackson of the fact. 
E\'ery one believed that the great struggle was 
about to begin. The first two attacks by the 
enemy having been repulsed, it was not 
doubted that he was about to make his third 
and greatest effort. The army, however, was 
in the main, ready for him. The Kentucky 
troops, it is true, were but poorly armed, the 
gims that had been given them being of a char- 
acter to which they were unaccustomed, but 
like their comrades, they were ready and will- 
ing for the fight. They were held in the post 
of honor, always given to troops upon whom 
dependence can be placed — in support of the 
advance columns of General Carroll. Upon 
supporting forces depends the safety of an 



army should the advance lines be driven back, 
and it was this honorable position which was 
held by the Kentucky volunteers. 

The advance of the enemy was begun on 
the morning of Januarv- 8th. soon after dawn, 
in two strong columns, their left being under 
the command of General Keane, their right 
under that of General Gibbs ; a third, or re- 
serve column, holding the post of honor under 
General Lambert. At the moment when a 
rocket gave the signal for their advance, a 
heavy artillery fire was begnn upon the Amer- 
ican lines, at the short distance of five hundred 

The American lines received the attack with 
commendable courage while the artillery, ad- 
mirably managed, tore the advancing English 
columns inflicting great damage. But it was 
the small anns of the Americans, which in- 
flicted the greatest injury upon the English. 
The infantry withheld their attack until the 
enemy were at close range and then poured 
into them a steady, remorseless fire under 
which they, for a time, continued to advance 
with intrepid bravery, but human nature has 
its limitations and finally the advancing col- 
umns broke. Their officers, gallant men that 
they were, rallied them, throwing them once 
more against the American defenses, but in 
vain. The Americans were not to be denied ; 
they had come to the front to meet the flower 
of the British army, and having met it, were 
determined not to yield to it but to hold their 
ground until that army was defeated and 
driven from American soil. Again and again 
the brave Englishmen advanced to the attack. 
In the center, the Kentuckians had come up 
to join the Tennesseans, and the brave volun- 
teers from the sister states, six deep in line, 
met the fiercest of the English charges and 
drove them back time and again. 

Twice driven back, the English forces 
formed for a third charge upon the American 
lines. It seemed that their officers had deter- 
mined either to win all or lose all at this bat- 

tle. On they came, a third time, gallantly, it 
must be said to their credit, only to be again 
driven back with heavy loss. They could not 
rally again and as their torn columns retreated 
to their encampment, the American artillery 
poured a withering fire into them still further 
shattering them. 

The battle was ended and victory rested 
with the American arms. The English com- 
mander-in-chief. General Packenham, lay 
dead upon the field; Gen. Keane and Gen. 
Gibbs were each wounded, the latter dying a 
few days later. Within one short hour Gen- 
eral Jackson had won the greatest battle of 
his career against the flower of the British 
army, and written a new page in the history of 
the young Republic. From that day to this, 
January 8th has been known as ''Jackson's 
Day," and each anniversary of the Battle of 
New Orleans, has, in some manner, been cel- 
ebrated. In. Kentucky, for many years, the 
day was recognized by the firing of cannon 
from Arsenal Hill, at Frankfort, but this prac- 
tice has fallen into disuse of late, the legis- 
lature, which formerly authorized the annual 
salute, having found its time so occupied in 
seeking political advantages over its adversa- 
ries as to forget that in the earlier days of the 
republic sterner battles than those of politics 
were fought and won by the citizen soldiery of 
the countr}'. 

Returning, however, to the battle field at 
Xew Orleans, it is not pleasant to record that 
while the troops on the left side of the river 
were winning a great victory, those on the 
right side were sustaining a reverse. Com- 
modore Patterson's battery had done some 
good work during the battle, but later, was to 
fail in an emergency owing to delay in bring- 
ing it to bear upon a British force which had 
been thrown across the river, under command 
of Colonel Thornton. The latter advanced 
upon and drove back a force of Americans 
commanded by Major 'Amo, who had been 
ordered to oppose the landing of the British 


troops. Continuing their advance, these lat- 
ter struck the poorly armed force of Ken- 
tucky volunteers, two hundred strong under 
command of Colonel Duncan. After a loss of 
thirty men, killed and wounded, Duncan re- 
treated under orders from General Morgan, 
and later formed again on the right of the 
Louisiana militia. The guns in Patterson's 
embrasures being trained upon the left bank of 
the river, were not turned in time to oppose 
the advance of Colonel Thornton's charge. 
General Morgan's five hundred Louisiana 
troops were aligned behind protecting breast- 
works to the rear of the battery and at right 
angles to the river, being protected by three 
pieces of field artillery. There were one hun- 
dred and seventy Kentuckians, in addition to 
the two hundred under Colonel Davis, who 
were deployed along a ditch for three hundred 
yards, necessarily in skirmish formation, while 
to their right were several hundred yards of 
open country entirely unprotected. The en- 
emy came on in gallant form to the charge in 
double columns. Their right column, nearest 
the river, was met by General -Morgan and 
driven off by his artillery. The British left 
column advanced against the Kentuckians 
who had no artillery and, in addition, no sup- 
port upon the open ground to their right. 

The strongest resistance was made that was 
possible under the circumstances, but the Brit- 
ish forces flanked them and commenced to fire 
upon their rear. Receiving thus a hot fire 
from superior forces in both front and rear 
and receiving no support from General Mor- 
gan, these untrained Kentucky militiamen did 
what the best disciplined veterans would have 
done, and retreated from a position which 
they were unable longer to hold. Morgan and 
his men followed and Patterson, after spiking 
his grms, also withdrew. The enemy pursued 
the retreating forces some distance up the 
river and then retreated, stopping long enough 
to destroy the batteries of Patterson which 
had already been rendered harmless by the 

spiking of his guns. Patterson and Morgan, 
the first remiss in duty for not having sooner 
trained Iiis guns upon Thornton's advancing 
force ; the second, for leaving his right flank 
unprotected, recognized that they were fit 
subjects for blame, and looking about for 
some one upon whom to saddle the cause for 
their own remissness, settled upon the Ken- 
tucky troops who had been assailed in front by 
superior numbers ; flanked on their right, and 
fired upon from their rear before they even 
attempted to withdraw. These same Ken- 
tuckians, armed with makeshift guns, picked 
up in New Orleans, had done most of the 
fighting on the right bank of the river, Mor- 
gan having used his artillery rather than his 
small arms against Thornton's advancing col- 
umn. They persuaded General Jackson to 
believe that the Kentuckians and not them- 
selves, were to blame, the result being that 
the commander-in-chief, in his report to the 
war department, said that "the Kentucky re- 
inforcements ingloriously fled, drawing after 
Ihem, by their example, the remainder of the 
forces." Commodore Patterson, who had 
spiked and abandoned his guns when there was 
no need to do so, was equally unjust in his 
report to the navy department. Colonel Da- 
vis, smarting under the injustice of these 
charges, demanded and was granted a court 
of inquiry, before which the facts above stated 
were conclusively shown, the court reporting 
that "the action of the Kentucky troops was 
excusable." Kentucky troops have never 
been amenable to the charge of running away. 
General Adair, commanding the Kentucky vol- 
unteers, was not satisfied with this report and 
pressed the matter upon General Jackson, 
who finally gave a sentence of justification. 
It is not proposed here nor elsewhere, to pay 
a tribute to these Kentuckians at New Orleans. 
Kentucky soldiers have written the proud rec- 
ord of their gallantry upon too many fields of 
strife to need that the historian of today should 
explain their conduct at New Orleans, or else- 



where. In the contests with the Indians in 
defense of their homes ; with George Rogers 
Clark at \'incennes ; with General Harrison 
at Tippecanoe ; at the River Raisin, and years 
afterwards at Buena Vista, Cerro Gordo, Cha- 
pultepec and the City of Mexico, they had 
written the name of the state too high upon 
the soldiers" roll of fame to need a panegyric 
at this late day. In other and on more mo- 
mentous fields, in civil strife, they have en- 
riched the soil of the south with their blood 
and on every field, whether wearing the uni- 
form of the Union or of the Confederacy, 
they have done honor to the state which gave 
them birth and made the name of a Kentuck- 
ian one to be borne with honor throughout 
ever)' nation on earth. 

The victory of the American forces on the 
left bank of the river stands unparalleled in 
histor)', so far as the losses are involved. The 
Americans lost six killed and seven wounded, 
while the British loss was about two thousand, 
six hundred in killed, wounded and prisoners. 
When an armistice for the burial of their dead 
was granted the enemy, and a line drawn be- 
yond which they were not to advance, and be- 
tween that line and the works, four hundred 
and eighty-two English soldiers lay dead, while 
two hundred lay outside that line, the esti- 
mate of twenty-six hundred killed, wounded 
and prisoners is not, therefore, regarded as 

General Packenham, who, as has been 
stated, was killed, was a trained soldier of 
much experience, and a brother-in-law of the 
famous Wellington who, with Blucher's aid, 
had beaten Napoleon at Waterloo and forever 
ended the career of that remarkable man. the 
modern Attilla, who had been the scourge of 
Europe for so many disastrous years. Pack- 
enham had learned his lessons of war under 
his great relative, while the troops under his 
command were trained and tried veterans of 
many campaigns. Yet the volunteers from 
Louisiana. Tennessee and Kentucky number- 

ing not more than four thousand, had utterly 
defeated his army of more than twice their 
number. On the other banks of the Alissis- 
sippi, though Colonel Thornton had won a 
temporary triumph for the British arms, it 
had been at the loss of one hundred of his 
men killed and wounded. Among the serious- 
ly wounded was Colonel Thornton himself. 
The American forces though suffering a tem- 
porary reversal, lost less heavily than the 

The English commanders, notwithstanding 
the severe losses in the battle on the 8th, 
brought up the river a portion of their naval 
outfit on the morning of the 9th, with a view 
to an attack on Fort St. Philip. From a point 
beyond the range of the guns of the fort, a 
bombardment was begun which continued for 
nine days without any material damage being 
inflicted. Finally, a large mortar was brought 
to and mounted at the fort and this opened 
fire on the fleet on the 17th, causing the with- 
drawal of the British vessels on the following 
morning. The loss in the fort was two killed 
and seven wounded, though thousands of shots 
had been fired by tlie British during the bom- 

Failing in this second attempt to reach the 
city. General Lambert, who had succeeded to 
the command after the death of General Pack- 
enham, together with Admiral Cochran, 
commanding the naval forces, began prepara- 
tions for a withdrawal of their forces. As a 
preliminary step an exchange of prisoners was 
arranged for and perfected on the i8th on the 
night of which day the enemy retreated to 
their boats and small vessels, preparatory to a 
transfer to their larger vessels of war lying 
off Ship Island in the Gulf of Mexico, off the 
coast of Mississippi. Besides some of their 
wounded too badly injured to be removed, 
they left behind them eighteen pieces of ar- 
tillery and a large quantity of ammunition. 
General Jackson made no effort to interfere 
with the retreat of the defeated enemy, but Mr. 



Shields, an officer of the American navy, who 
had borne a flag of truce to the enemy and 
been treated with contempt and, for a time, 
made a prisoner, after his return to the Amer- 
ican lines, had the pleasure to lead a small 
naval force through Chef Menteure intercept- 
ing, capturing and destroying two British ves- 
sels, bringing in eighty prisoners and paroling 
a number of others. 

It is a historical fact, perhaps not known to 
many persons, that this great battle was fought 
after terms of peace had been agreed to be- 
tween the United States and Great Britain. 
Some time prior to the date of the battle, the 
former country had appointed a commission 
composed of Henry Clay of Kentucky, John 
Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, James A. 
Bayard of Delaware, and Albert Gallatin of 
Pennsylvania, to meet with a commission to 
be appointed by the English government. The 
latter named as its commissioner Lord Gam- 
bier, Henry Gaulborn and William Adams. 
So far as American history knows, these latter 
names are written in water, as no man here 
knows whence they came nor whither they 
went. But indelibly upon the pages of his- 
tory are inscribed the names of the illustrious 
Americans who formed our commission. 

The commission met at Ghent, Belgium, * 
and after proper consideration of the momen- 
tous questions before it. agreed to terms of 
peace on December 24. 1814. Ratification of 
these terms was exchanged between the two 
governments at Washington February 17, 

Thus it is seen that the battle of New Or- 
leans was fought two weeks after terms of 
peace had been agreed upon and that the rat- 
ification of the treaty followed the battle in 

one month. One may speculate in vain as to 
the difference in the pages of history which 
would have been written had there been then, 
as now. a system of electric communication 
between the old world and the new. Certainly 
the battle of New Orleans would never have 
been fought. Those who enjoy speculation 
upon possibilities, may decide for themselves 
whether or not General Andrew Jackson 
would have sat for eight years in the presiden- 
tial chair, had there been an .A^tlantic cable in 
December. 1814, to convey to the government 
and to him, the news that the Treaty of Ghent 
had been agreed upon and that the war was 
at an end. 

On the field of Chalmette, where the battle 
of New Orleans was fought and won, nearly 
one hundred years ago. there stands today 
an unfinished monument originally begun in 
honor of the splendid victory won there by 
American arms. It is in full view of vessels 
passing on the river and its unfinished condi- 
tion is occasion for remark by all who observe 
it. and that remark is not complimentary. As 
if to emphasize the statement that Republics 
are ungrateful, the United States has never 
seen fit to secure from congress a suitable ap- 
propriation for the completion of this monu- 
ment which stands a mute reproach to all who 
are today in authority, as well as to those who 
have preceded them. That the Louisiana del- 
egation in c(ingress has not brought this sub- 
ject before that body and, at least, endeavored 
to secure the aid of the government is difficult 
to understand. Had it been a matter of an in- 
creased duty on sugar or rice there would have 
been no difficulty in securing the attention of 
the honorable senators and representatives 
from the Pelican state. 


Kentucky Surveyor and Steamboat Inventor — Rumsey's Invention — Fulton or Fitch 
— Murray, Inventor of "Bessemer Steel" — Madison and Slaughter Administrations 
— "The Purchase" Lands — Kentucky's Season of "Inflation" — General Adair, 
Governor — Proposed Legislative "Relief" — Legislature Against Judge — Chief Jus- 
tice Boyle— William Owsley — Benjamin Mills — Relief (New Court) Party. 

With the close of the second war with Eng- 
land, came the first real era of peace Ken- 
tucky had ever known.* Born during the first 
great struggle with liis mother country, the 
state had won its way through constant strife 
with the savages and their white English 
comrades and leaders. It had met them 
wherever battle was ofifered whether in Ken- 
tucky, or at Vincennes, at Tippecanoe, at the 
River Raisin, in Canada or at New Orleans, 
and at last had seen the dawn of peace which 
gave to her valiant sons, and no less brave 
mothers and daughters, the opportunity they 
had so long sought to work out the high des- 
tiny of the young state free from war's alarms. 
To the material interests of the common- 
wealth, attention was now turned, the shadows 
of war having passed and the sunlight of peace 
begim to shed its beneficent rays upon them. 

In 1780 there came to the district of Ken- 
tucky a young surveyor, John Fitch. While 
descending the Ohio river, and at the mouth 
of the Big Sandy river, the boat was fired 
upon by Indians who wounded two of the 
crew and killed a number of the horses and 
cattle with which the boat was laden. It is 
not related in the histories of that early period 
that the boat was captured and it is fair to 
assume that it, with its passengers and cargo, 
escaped. In 1786 Fitch is reported to have 
made an entry of lands in Nelson county for 

himself and also for others of the pioneer set- 
tlers. He was of an inventive mind and to 
him has been ascribed the invention of the first 
steamboat. James Rumsey, about the same 
time, that is in 1786, also successfully applied 
steam to the navigation of water craft. Rum- 
sey claimed to have no knowledge of the in- 
vention of Fitch. In the eastern states, Rob- 
ert Fulton was experimenting along the same 
lines and to him, whether justly or unjustly, 
is ascribed the invention of a vessel that was 
impelled by steam for the first time. It is 
not the purpose of this work to enter into the 
question of the priority of invention. Many 
pages have been written upon the subject 
which has never been definitely or satisfac- 
torily settled. It is enough to know that John 
Fitch, a resident of, but not a native of Ken- 
tucky, did in 1786 operate a steam-propelled 
vessel upon the Delaware river. This vessel 
was propelled by paddle wheels, moved by a 
system of cranks. The boat which was sixty 
feet in length, made a successful trial trip de- 
veloping a speed of more than seven miles an 
hour. During the three succeeding years 
Fitch built other boats, after the same model, 
which were run in a regular service between 
Philadelphia and Burlington at a speed of from 
four to seven miles an hour. Prior to this 
time, being like most inventors, a very poor 
man. he had petitioned congress and several of 




the states for aid in the development of his 
invention, but had received no encouragement. 
In his papers, examined after his death, was 
found the prophetic and pathetic statement : 
"The day will come when some more powerful 
man will get fame and riches from my inven- 
tion, but nobody will believe that poor John 
Fitch can do anything worthy of attention." 
The correctness of this prediction has recently 
been shown in the presence of representatives 
of the navies of the world in New York bay 

right or who was wrong it is not the purpose 
to state here. But the principle invented by 
Fitch obtained and is followed in one form or 
another today, while that of Rumsey is ac- 
counted as one of the interesting experiments 
of inventors groping in the dark. Nowhere 
has it any practical application. 

There was yet another Kentuckian whose 
invention has revolutionized the steel industry 
of the world, yet the honor and the profit has 
gone to another. In 1846, at Eddyville, Ken- 

CiTY Hall, Louisville 

celebrating the achievements of Robert Fulton, 
hailed as the pioneer inventor of the steam 
vessel. History is sometimes very unjust and 
occasionally unreliable. 

James Rumsey, whose descendants yet live 
in Kentucky, was working on the problem of 
steam navigation concurrently with Fitch, 
though neither knew of the labors of the other. 
Rumsey's first boat was shown on the Potomac 
and made a speed of four miles an hour by 
ejecting water from the stem. He and Fitch 
acrimoniously contended for priority of in- 
vention, without any special addition to the 
knowledge of steam navigation. Who was 

tucky, Wm. Murray operated iron furnaces. 
He was probably the pioneer employer of Chi- 
nese coolie labor, having secured from New 
York, the services of ten of these people who, 
at that early day, numbered but few in the 
United States. Mr. Murray was thoroughly 
informed as to the chemistry of iron manu- 
facture and was dissatisfied with the results 
obtained from his furnaces and began a series 
of investigations and operations which result- 
ed in the transformation, by means of currents 
of air, of the molten metal into malleable iron 
or steel as he desired, a variation in the appli- 
cation producing the one or the other metal. 



A description of the technical operations pro- 
ducing this important effect would be out of 
place in a publication of this character. It is 
enough to say that in the crude little iron fur- 
naces down on the Cumberland river, where 
Wm. Murray and his ten Chinese employes 
had been making iron sugar kettles for South- 
em planters, there was discovered a process 
which makes possible the great steel bridges 
of our country and of the world and of the 
great "skyscrapers" which have done so much 
to disfigure our cities. ]\Ir. Murray was re- 
mote from the great news centers ; there were 
no fast mail trains in his day and but few tel- 
egraph lines. He was content to modestly 
go on with the work his hands found to do, 
and made no effort to advertise to the world 
the great discovery he had made. Others 
were less modest. English ironworkers, then 
the foremost manufacturers in that line in 
the world, came to Eddyville, observed the 
process Murray had discovered, predicted that 
it would speedily supersede all others and then 
went home to England. The result of this 
visit of inspection by these English iron-work- 
ers was that every foot of structural steel 
used in the world today is known as "Besse- 
mer Steel," instead of "Murray steel" as it 
should be. Bessemer adopted the Murray 
methods as his own and patented them, not- 
withstanding that Murray steel was in use in 
the United States long before the name of 
Bessemer was ever heard of, either in Eng- 
land or the United States. Murray, at last 
. aroused to the importance of the great dis- 
covery he had made, sought a patent from the 
United States, but lost precedence of Besse- 
mer who secured a prior patent in England, 
it has been charged by having corrupted Mur- 
ray's attorney in the United States. Murray, 
however, secured a caveat and a final hearing 
by the commissioner of patents, who decided 
that he was the real inventor of the new proc- 
ess and granted him a patent which expired in 
187 1, being then renewed for seven years all 

other applications for similar patents being 

Bessemer steel is known the world over; 
who knows aught of Murray steel? Robert 
Fulton is acclaimed as the father of steam 
navigation while John Fitch sleeps unhonored 
in a humble grave. The world is sometimes 
very unkind to those to whom it owes great 

At the disastrous battle with the English 
and Indians at Frenchtown. the details of 
which have been given, one of the gallant 
commanding officers of the Kentucky troops 
was Major George Madison who. with Major 
Graves, refused to surrender until the supply 
i)f ammunition was exhausted, and onlv then 
when the British General Proctor promised 
honorable terms and the protection of their 
men from Indian atrocities. ]\Iajor Madison, 
by his gallant conduct on this and other occa- 
sions, had so endeared himself to the people ' 
of Kentucky that in 1816 they elected him 
governor of the state; Gabriel Slaughter, at 
the same time, being chosen as lieutenant gov- 
ernor. The gallant old soldier-governor did 
not long survive his civil triumph. After his 
death there was exciting discussion as to 
whether the lieutenant governor should suc- 
ceed him, or a new election should be ordered 
by the legislature. This was finally decided in 
favor of the lieutenant governor and Slaughter 
became governor. 

During the administration of the latter the 
most important question arising was the ex- 
tinguishment of the Indian titles to that part 
of Kentucky lying west of the Tennessee 
river, steps to which end must be taken in 
connection with the United States government. 
The Chickasaw Indians had a valid claim to 
about seven million acres of land lying in Ken- 
tucky and Tennessee and between the Missis- 
sippi and the Tennessee rivers. This fertile 
body of land had never been included in any 
transfers covered by treaties with these In- 
dians, and it was important that some definite 



action be had by which the title could be taken 
over either the government or by the states of 
Kentucky and Tennessee. The United States 
in October, 1818, purchased this Indian land 
for $300,000. to be paid to the Indians at the 
rate of $20,000 each year for fifteen years. 
Kentucky's share of the land thus bought in- 
cludes the counties of Graves, Calloway, Mc- 
Cracken, Marshall, Hickman, Ballard and Ful- 
ton, which have ever since been designated 
as "The Purchase." This is the only land in 
Kentucky for which any Indian tribe ever re- 
ceived compensation. 

In 1822, Henry Clay, as a commissioner for 
Kentucky' met Benjamin W. Leigh, a commis- 
sioner for Virginia, to decide certain points of 
difference that had remained open since the 
erection of the district of Kentucky into a 
state. Virginia claimed the right to locate on 
the Purchase lands bounty warrants for the 
officers and men of her state troops. All the 
questions remaining open between the two 
states were satisfactorily settled by Messrs. 
Leigh and Clay, the legislatures of the two 
states ratifying the settlement thus made at 
their succeeding sessions. 

During the session of the legislature. 1817- 
18 forty banks were incorporated with a cap- 
ital stock, on paper, of ten million dollars. 
These banks instead of redeeming their notes 
of issue in gold and silver, were, by the terms 
of their charters, permitted to redeem them in 
the notes of the Bank of Kentucky which, of 
all the banks in the state, was now on a specie 
basis. The new banks started the printing 
presses to running; immense numbers of their 
paper promises to pay were issued ; every- 
body had money : therefore everybody was 
wealthy. These new banks were run in 
haphazard fashion. Some of them may 
have been controlled by men who knew at 
least the alphabet of finance, but most of them 
were not. Most of the officers meant well in 
the density of the ignorance of the basic prin- 
ciples of banking; some of. them did not mean 

well except to the advantage of their own 
pockets which they managed to comfortably 
fill. Speculation was the order of the day. 
Money makes money ; everybody had money, 
such as it was ; why not make that money make 
more money ? The shoddy banks made large 
loans to irresponsible borrowers who prompt- 
ly lost them in speculation. When pay-day 
came, as it inexorably does come, they had no 
means by which to meet their obligations to 
the banks. There could be but one result — 
the banks went to pieces, few of them surviv- 
ing more than a year; the others not beyond 
two years. 

So great was the financial pressure- brought 
about by this ill-advised adventure into the 
difficult field of finance by those who knew 
nothing of its intricacies, that the legislature 
at its session of 1819-20, extended the right to 
replevy judgments from three months to a 
term of one year. This appears to have been 
an absolute necessity. Everyone was in debt; 
no one had money with which to pay hi's debts. 
Ruin could be, at least, temporarily averted, 
by legislative action. But this was only tem- 
porary for in 1820, the demand for further 
relief was so great that a majority of the 
members of the state senate and house pledged 
themselves to measures which would bring re- 
lief to the great body of debtors whose bur- 
dens were too great to be borne. It would 
seem to reasonable persons that such lessons 
as this would have a lasting value. These 
new banks had flooded the state with their 
notes and within two years, not only the banks 
which issued them but the unfortunates who 
held them were bankrupt. 

In 1868. and for several succeeding ye.irs, 
there was a great body of otherwise intelligent 
men in the United States who demanded that 
the United States should put its printing 
])resses to work turning out "greenbacks" until 
every one had all the money he needed. This 
in larger form, was what had been done in 
Kentucky fifty years before, and had the sug- 



gestion been adopted the United States and 
its people would have been bankrupted, as 
were most of the Kentucky people during 
their excursion into the realms of high finance. 

In 1896, it was not the press which printed 
greenbacks that was appealed to, but the coin- 
age press which stamped the half dollar's 
worth of silver and made it a dollar. That 
this should be done by the government, free of 
charge to any one and without asking the con- 
sent of any foreign government, was declared 
to be a panacea for all the financial woes of 
the people, especially, it may be added, for 
those who owned and operated silver mines. 
This plan, like that of the greenback theorists, 
failed of adoption, very happily for all con- 
cerned as it now appears. It has been said 
that every man is capable of managing a hotel 
or editing a newspaper. Remembering the 
wild theories of finance that have been ad- 
vanced and advocated during the past forty- 
five years, one would be safe in adding to the 
would-be hotel keeper and the editor, the able 
financier who may be found on every street 
of the country's cities and at every cross-roads 
of the country's rural districts. 

Returning to the situation in Kentucky, it 
may be stated that General Adair, the gallant 
old soldier, was elected governor in 1820. He 
approved of the acts of the legislature tending 
to the relief of the people. The independent 
bank charters were repealed in February, 
1820; the Bank of Kentucky had suspended 
specie payments. Everybody wanted money ; 
nobody had any. 

The legislature of that day seemed as inca- 
pable as the legislatures of today. To the cry 
for relief, it responded by chartering the Bank 
of the Commonwealth at Frankfort, which 
should have a branch in every judicial district 
of the state. This bank was authorized to 
issue irredeemable notes to the amount of 
three million dollars. The capital of the bank 
was nominal, not real. It is scarcely necessary 
to note what happened. In a little while it 

took two dollars of its notes to buy one real 

Judge Little in his "Life of Ben Hardin," 
says : "Almost everybody was in debt and 
a large proportion hopelessly so." Little fur- 
ther says : "Let it not be supposed that the 
legislative arm was idle in this emergency. 
It acted with as serene indifference to all con- 
stitutional, as of all financial principles. De- 
cember, 1819, an act was passed by the legis- 
lature to suspend for sixty days all judicial 
and execution sales. February, 1820, the 
right of replevin was extended from three to 
twelve months. In cases of imprisonment for 
debt (then an existing remedy in a creditor's 
favor) prison bounds were extended to the 
limits of each county town. In December, 
1 82 1, imprisonment for debt was entirely abol- 
ished. The right of replevin was then ex- 
tended from three months to two years, unless 
the execution creditor endorsed on the writ 
that notes of the Bank of the Commonwealth 
might be taken in payment. How this course 
of legislation would have culminated, if unin- 
terrupted, can only be conjectured . When it 
had reached this point, it was suddenly ar- 
rested by the adverse decision of a circuit 

In a case arising in the Bourbon circuit court 
in 1822, Judge Clark decided the two years' 
replevin law unconstitutional on the ground 
that so far as it was retroactive, it impaired the 
obligation of contracts and thus violated the 
constitution of the United States. Wide and 
profound was the sensation produced by this 
decision, and the unlucky judge was regarded 
as little less than a public enemy. The legis- 
lature having been convened in special session 
for another purpose, rushed to the rescue. 
T^lay 18. 1822, Mr. Slaughter, member for 
Warren, oft'ered a resolution in the house of 
representatives stating in the preamble that 
fudge lames Clark had rendered a decision "in 
contravention of the laws of the common- 
wealth." had grossly transcended Iiis judicial 



authority and disregarded the powers of the 
legislature. A committee was appointed to 
inquire into the decision of the judge and re- 
port.' On the 2 1st, the committee reported 
after having read Judge Clark's decision in a 
newspaper. "The principles and doctrines as- 
sumed in this opinion," says the committee, 
■"are incompatible with the constitutional 
powers of the legislative department of the 
government, subversive of the best interests 
of the people, and calculated, in their conse- 
quences, to disturb the tranquility of the coun- 
try and to shake public confidence in the in- 
stitutions and measures of the government 
called for by the condition and the necessities 
of the people." 

Judge Clark was ordered to appear before 
the house and answer the charge made against 
him in the committee's report. He did not 
obey the summons in person, but sent the fol- 
lowing answer in writing: "In pronouncing 
void a law that is incompatible with the con- 
stitution, the judiciary does not assume a su- 
periority over the legislature. It merely af- 
firms the paramount obligation of the funda- 
mental rule. It announces only that the will 
af the people, as expressed in their constitu- 
tion, is above the will of any of the servants 
3f the people. The decision was given after 
the most mature deliberation which I was able 
to bestow and from a firm conviction of the 
principles there mentioned, and I must have 
been not only faithless to my conscience, but 
to the constitution of the United States and the 
dignity due the judicial ofifice had I expressed 
any other opinion." , 

This seems a manly response ; such a re- 
sponse as any upright and fearless judge might 
be expected to make, but it fell on thorny 
legislative soil and brought forth wrath rather 
than conciliation such as might be expected in 
a reasoning body of men. In the house an 
"address to the governor" was prepared and 
ofifered, directing that official to at once re- 
move Judge Clark from ofif]ce. A two-thirds 

vote of the house was necessary to the adop- 
tion of this address. Fifty-nine representa- 
tives voted for, and thirty-five against the ad- 
dress, whereupon it failed of adoption not 
having received the necessary two-thirds vote : 
but had three others joined with the fifty-nine 
affirmative votes, it would have been the duty 
of the governor to declare vacant the office 
of a judge who had made a just decision in 
accordance with the law and his conscience. 

The only proper remedy against the de- 
cision of Judge Clark was an appeal to the 
court of appeals and this was taken. At the 
same time there was pending in that court an 
appeal from a decision of the general court 
which was composed of two circuit judges. 
In this case, the lower court had sustained the 
constitutionality of the stay law. The ablest 
lawyers of that day argued the pending ques- 
tions before the higher court. It was not 
until October, 1823, when Judges Boyle and 
Mills in elaborate opinions, declared the re- 
lief law unconstitutional. It is not on record 
that the legislature attempted to "address" 
these judges from office. Judge Clark's de- 
cision had created consternation, but this was 
allayed in some degree by the opinion of the 
highest court in the state sustaining him. The 
ablest lawyers in the state, and there were 
many able men at the bar in those days, dif- 
fered as widely as the poles on the question 
of constitutionality. The older lawyers of to- 
day are not a unit in support of the decision, 
and it still affords opportunity for discussion. 

"Political party lines were abandoned in the 
storm that swept over the state when the de- 
cision was announced. Two new parties came 
into being almost momentarily. One of these, 
and apparently the stronger of the two, was 
unsparing in its denunciation of the court of 
appeals, the severest measures against that 
body and its individual members being threat- 
ened. The minority party, which sustained 
the court, was determined and yielded not an 
inch of ground on which it stood. The minor- 



ity. strong in its sense of the correctness of the 
position it had taken, cahnly bided its time, 
confident that when the fierce storm had run 
its course and calmer judg^nent had come to 
the people, right and justice would prevail 
and be accepted by the masses. 

The appellate court at this time consisted of 
a chief justice and two associate justices. 
John Boyle was chief justice; Benjamin Mills 
and William Owsley were his associates ; the 
three being very able lawyers and fearless 

Chief Justice Boyle, the elder of his asso- 
ciates, was in the prime of his intellectual fac- 
ulties. He was a native of A^'irginia, born 
October 28, 1774, and when but five years of 
age was brought by his parents to Kentucky. 
He had received a classical education under the 
tutelage of the Rev. Samuel P'inley, a Pres- 
byterian minister. He studied law in Mercer 
county, under the direction of Thomas Da- 
vis, a man distinguished alike in law and pol- 
itics, and in 1797 returned to Garrard county 
where his father had finally settled, and began 
the practice of his profession at Lancaster. 
In 1800 he was a member of the legislature, 
and two years later, a member of congress, to 
which he was twice re-elected, declining a 
fourth term. He served as governor of the 
territory of Illinois by appointment from 
President Madison in 1808-9. On h's return 
to Kentucky, he was tendered and declined an 
appointment as circuit judge, and in April, 
1809, was appointed an associate justice of the 
court of appeals. There was an interesting 
circumstance connected with this appointment. 
Governor Scott had appointed Ninian Ed- 
wards, associate justice of the court of ap- 
peals; the latter had made large investments 
in Illinois lands and desired to remove to that 
territory. Boyle did not enjoy the governor- 
ship and desired to relinquish it. Edwards 
saw a way out of the dilemma. He resigned 
the position of associate justice and Boyle re- 
signed the governorship of the territory of 

Illinois. Thereupon, Boyle was appointed 
associate justice and Edwards, governor of 
Illinois territory, an unfortunate transfer of 
ofiicial duties for the latter, as he lost a large 
portion of his fortune through certain con- 
gressional legislation. In this day of hunger 
for office, it is doubtful if such a transfer of 
ofiicial duties could be made as readily as in 
this instance. Few politicians of today relin- 
quish an office until there is more than an as- 
surance that they will secure a better one. 

In 1 810, Boyle was made chief justice of 
Kentucky, a position to which his learning 
entitled him. A distinguished jurist of Ken- 
tucky, Judge Little, has declared him to be 
"in all respects the leader of his associates and 
a model judge of the old regime." And that 
is the highest praise that could be accorded any 
man. In the days of the old regime, men 
were judges and not politicians. There was 
not a judge upon the bench, high or low, in 
Kentucky in those days, who would have 
stepped down from his high estate, to dabble 
his hands in the dirty pool of politics, or to 
direct the movements of a party in a political 
campaign. Alas for Kentucky ! Her people 
have lived to see a circuit judge leave the 
bench to assume the direction of his party in 
a political campaign, and a judge of the court 
of appeals, a lobbyist before a legislative com- 
mittee. Verily, the times do change, and men 
change with them. 

William Owsley, an associate justice, was 
born in Virginia in 1782. When he was but a 
vear old, his father came to Kentucky and set- 
tled near Crab Orchard, in Lincoln county. 
He made the most of his meager opportuni- 
ties for obtaining an education and seems to 
have been reasonably successful. He taught 
school, acted as deputy surveyor, and as deputy 
for his father who was the sheriff of the 
county. John Boyle, who was afterwards to sit 
with him on the bench, encouraged him to 
study law and entering the latter's office, he 
was in due time, admitted to the practice of 



his profession in the courts of Garrard county, 
where he was immediately successful, Boyle 
being always his friend and faithful helper. 
He represented Garrard county in the legis- 
lature, in 1809 and 181 1. In the meantime, 
he had been appointed by Gov. Scott, an as- 
sociate justice of the court of appeals, but the 
legislature having reduced the number of 
judges of this court from four to three, he 
soon afterwards resigned. A vacancy occur- 
ring in 1813, he was again appointed by Gov- 
ernor Shelby. Those who opposed the de- 
cision of the court on the stay laws, charged 
Judge Owsley, as they had charged Chief Jus- 
tice Boyle, with an adherence to the precedents 
of the English common law, inconsistent with 
its adaptation to litigation of a new coun- 
try and a Republican form of government. 
Those not familiar with the administration of 
the laws, will understand that in the absence 
of a statutory provision, the common law still 
obtains in this country. But at the period in 
question the sentiment against England was so 
intense that not even its admirable system of 
common law procedure was acceptable to the 
masses. To them nothing good could come 
out of the English Nazareth. 

Benjamin Mills, the third member of the 
court, was a native of Maryland, born Janu- 
ary 12, 1779. He obtained his education at 
Washington, Pennsylvania, whither his fam- 
ily had removed, and afterwards studied med- 
icine. He was for a time president of Wash- 
ington Academy, afterwards known as 
Washington College and later and now bearing 
the high distinction of Washington and Lee 
University of Virginia. On the removal of 
his family to Bourbon county, Kentucky, he 
abandoned medicine and collegiate work, tak- 
ing up the study of law, to the practice of 
which he was admitted at Paris in 1806. He 
soon established an excellent practice and for 
six years represented Bourbon county in the 
legislature. In 1816 he was defeated for a 
seat in the United States senate by three votes, 

his successful opponent being Isham Talbott 
of the same county as himself. In 1817, Gov- 
ernor Slaughter appointed him a circuit judge 
and in February, 1820, the same governor 
commissioned him a judge of the court of ap- 
peals to succeed John Rowan, resigned. 

Judge Lucius Little, writing of this momen- 
tous period in the history of the state says: 
"Fortunately for the honor of the bench and 
the state, and the safety of the fundamental 
law, three men of more firmness, of greater 
intellectual and moral courage, or better fitted 
in all respects, to meet the issue forced upon 
them, never at one time adorned the bench of 
that Court." 

"The judges," said the late Chief Justice 
Robertson, "were charged with arrogating by 
their decision supremacy over the popular 
will. Their authority to declare void any act 
of the legislature was denied. They were de- 
nounced by the organs and the stump orators 
of the Relief party as usurpers and self-made 

There sprang into existence in a single night, 
a full-fledged party, a mushroom growth, 
known at first as the Relief party and later 
as the New Court party, which was. destined 
to a brief but tempestuous existence, though, 
for a time, by its sophistry and the demands 
of self-interest, it dominated all the affairs of 
the State. It is not difficult to understand 
why this should be so. The people were deep- 
ly in debt ; they were honest people and wanted 
to pay their debts. They believed that the 
stay laws enacted by the legislature gave them 
an opportunity to do this and they viewed 
with little or no patience the decisions of the 
courts which interfered with their honest 

Years afterwards, when the panic of 1893 
had deranged financial affairs and the masses 
were in debt beyond their power to pay, false 
prophets came preaching the free coinage of 
silver as a panacea for all woes of indebted- 
ness and the people heard them gladly. These 



were honest people, recognizing their obHga- 
tions and desiring to discharge them to the 
last cent. When in 1896, a prophet appeared 
among them offering a silver dollar as the 
solution of their troubles they flocked to his 
standard and six millions of them declared 
pathetically at the polls, their desire to have 
the government set its mints to work, coining, 
without money and without price, the silver 
which should set them free. 

It is a callous spirit, indeed, which can con- 
template the helpless debtors of 1823 and of 
1896, without a sympathetic feeling, however 
much he may differ from them as to the 
means to be adopted for their relief. Time 

has shown them to have been in error in each 
instance, but if will never show them to have 
been otherwise than anxious for some means 
which would enable them to discharge their 
indebtedness to the last penny. That in each 
of these eras, demagogues took advantage of 
the situation to advance their own political in- 
terests in no wise reflects' upon the honest 
citizenship which they misled. There are more 
honest than dishonest people in the world and 
the final outcome of all questions of policy, 
is that the right will prevail at the final issue 
and that the demagogue will lose his hold upon 
the people whom he misled. 


Relief Party and Leaders — Anti-Relief Party Leaders — Problems of Relief Party — A 
Policy of "Education" — Relief Party Wins Election — Legislated Out of Office — 
New Court of Appeals — Old Court Refuses to Die — Reign of Judicial Chaos — Old 
Court Party Wins — Sharp-Beauchamp Tragedy — Fall of New Court — Judges Boyle, 
AIills and Owsley. 

hi 1823, the Democratic and Whig parties of Pennsylvania, a great lawyer and advocate. 

tvere temporarily retired from the political 
stage in Kentucky, to be succeeded by the 
Relief and Anti-Relief parties, in which Whig 
ind Democrat, erstwhile political foes, touched 
;lbows in the ranks of one or the other of the 
lew parties, forgetful of past differences and 
ifire with the enthusiasm of the new align- 
neut. A rehearing of the adverse decision of 
:he court of appeals delivered October 8, 1823, 
had been asked for and denied. 

After this denial, the ranks of the Relief 
party were closed up and the great struggle 
was on. When the legislature assembled in 
1823, the discussion had been largely aca- 
demic. Judge George Robertson, an Anti-Re- 
lief man, had been elected speaker of the 
house notwithstanding that the Relief party 
had an apparent majority of si.xteen. A high 
authority has stated that "a month later such 
a thing would have been morally impossible." 
The scattering vote, the element in every legis- 
lature which does not quite know what it be- 
lieves until it learns in which direction the 
majority wind blows, was consoHdated into 
a compact mass and the Relief party was 
ready for active warfare, with a following 
more intensely partisan than the state had 
ever before known. 

The greatest advocate of the Relief party 
was John Rowan, then a member of the house 
from Jefferson county. Rowan was a native 

He had been a delegate to the constitutional 
convention in 1799 from Nelson county; sec- 
retary of state under Governor Greenup; a 
member of cong-ress for one term; five times 
a member of the legislature from Nelson 
county, and twice from Jefferson ; and by ap- 
pointment, a judge of the court of appeals 
in 1819, which position he had resigned in 
1820. Col. John Mason Brown, a distin- 
guished lawyer at the Louisville bar, at the 
time of his death, wrote of Rowan : "His 
magnificent presence, his rotund and mellow 
voice, ready and apt flow of speech and a 
manner that was at once noble and aggressive, 
gave him complete domination over the ma- 
jority." He had no associate that was his 
equal in either learning or resource. Imperi- 
ous and forceful, he stood towering above all 
his associates, ready, willing and equal to 
meeting every attack upon the cause which 
he espoused. 

On the Anti-Relief side, there stood high 
among his associates George M. Bibb, a great 
lawyer, who had been the chief justice of the 
court of appeals and a United States senator. 
By his side, as able lieutenants, were W. T. 
Barry, Amos Kendall and Francis P. Blair, 
the former being lieutenant governor with 
the high qualities of a popular orator. Ken- 
dall and Blair, in later years, were to assume 
prominence as national characters. With 




these, there stood, also Crittenden, Robert- 
son, Green, Wickhffe and Hardin, the latter 
that distinguished Kentiickian who was later 
to be known in national, as in state affairs, as 
Ben Hardin, to whom John Randolph the ec- 
centric Mrginia statesman, applied the soubri- 
quet of "Kitchen Knife," in recognition of his 
sometimes rude but always forceful attacks. 
It is claimed that Mr. Clay was in sympathy 
with the Anti-Relief party, but had in a pri- 
vate letter expressed the determination to take 
no part in Kentucky politics, his great mental 
powers being, at that time attracted toward 
national affairs. 

The Relief party was prepared for action, 
but hesitated in deciding what that action 
should be. The appellate court had given its 
decision against the constitutionality of the 
relief laws already enacted by the legislature, 
and had refused to grant a rehearing. The 
legislature had attempted to "address" Judge 
Clark out of office and had failed. The peo- 
ple were in admitted distress, yet were con- 
servative, and the masses had high respect 
for the courts. They desired relief; indeed, 
they were entitled to relief, but in what shape 
should it be offered them? A mistake upon 
the part of the majority in the legislature 
would be fatal, yet something had to be of- 
fered the people. What should it be, in what 
shape should it come? That was the great 
question confronting the Relief leaders. They 
had a majority but not a two-thirds majority, 
and hesitated at an attempt to "address from 
office" the judges of the court of appeals who 
had rendered the obnoxious opinion. Sup- 
pose they could procure the necessary major- 
ity and force these judges from office, whom 
would Governor Adair appoint in their places ? 
He was a man who had nobly served his coun- 
try in war and in peace. Unjustly or not, he 
had been suspected of sympathy with the 
projects of Aaron Burr. It is simple justice 
to say, even at this late date, that there was 
no more than a suspicion to that effect and 

never any proof. He seems entitled to some- 
thing more than the Scotch verdict, "not 

Governor Adair was an old man ; he ad- 
hered to the majority but kept on good temis 
with the minority. In latter day political 
phraseology, it is feared that the governor 
would now be accused of '"carrying water on 
both shoulders." 

The majority were afraid to proceed to ex- 
treme measures, while uncertain as to the ac- 
tion Governor Adair might take. They de- 
cided upon a policy of education for the peo- 
ple, showing them the errors of the appellate 
court and teaching them that all power rested 
in their hands and flowed from them at the 
polls to the men whom they selected to rep- 
resent them, and that any executive or judi- 
cial interpretation contrary to the will of the 
legislative body "uprooted free government." 

Air. Rowan, probably the author of this 
theory and certainly its exponent, introduced 
in the house a preamble and resolutions, the 
latter covering less than one page, while the 
preamble required twenty-six for its com- 
plete setting forth. This was certainly a fair 
illustration of thundering in the index. 

The concluding sentence of this volumin- 
ous protest which was probably not under- 
stood by one-half of those members who gave 
it their support was as follows: "The mem- 
bers of the legislature, while they admit the 
power of the court to declare any law uncon- 
stitutional and void whicli is obviously and 
palpably so, feel themselves reluctantly con- 
strained by the most solemn obligations of 
duty — obligations of duty to themselves, to 
their constituents, to posterity and to the prin- 
ciples of rational liberty throughout the civil- 
ized world — to make their deliberate protest 
against the erroneous and usurping doctrines 
of that decision." 

In other words, the legislature was called 
upon to usurp judicial authorit}' and declare 
for itself what was or was not constitutional. 



when a decision of the courts ran counter to 
its own opinions, though the constitution 
makes equal the Executive, Judicial and Leg- 
islative departments. 

The resolutions, happily less extensive in 
form, were in keeping with the preamble, and 
denunciatory of the decision as "subversive 
of the dearest and most invaluable political 
rights," declaring if it were not reversed by 
the court, the legislature should withhold fa- 
cilities for its enforcement and should also 
deny the agency of ministerial officers in prop- 
agating its eroneous doctrines. "The legisla- 
ture," it said, "should repeal laws believed to 
be constitutional, when not expedient, not the 
courts." There followed the introduction of 
this revolutionary preamble and resolutions, 
a spirited and able discussion, bvit the oppo- 
sition was of no avail, as they were adopted 
by the large majority which the Relief party 
now had in the house. 

It was now important to educate the people 
into a belief that the preamble and resolutions 
were not only law but gospel. A state elec- 
tion was imminent and it w^as apparent that 
the political division would be upon the ques- 
tion of Relief. 

The older political parties, at that day, had 
not adopted the now familiar practice of 
presenting political platforms. Political prej- 
udice hail hitherto been "a good enough plat- 
form until after election." Now, however, 
the Relief party had a platform in the pream- 
ble and resolutions drawn by Mr. Rowan and 
adopted by the legislature. 

At the approaching election in 1824, a gov- 
ernor and other state officers were to be cho- 
sen. .As has been stated, there were, for the 
time being, no such parties as the Whig and 
Democratic parties. In their stead, for the 
coming election at least, the parties were Re- 
lief and Anti-Relief. A distinguished gentle- 
man of that day. writing of the situation, 
said ; "I fear our state will undergo a degree 

of excitement and division of parties that may 
disturb it for years to come." 

The Relief party named for governor, 
Joseph Desha, and Robert McAfee, for lieu- 
tenant governor ; the Anti-Relief party nom- 
inated for governor Christopher Tompkins, 
and for lieutenant governor, W. B. Black- 
burn. The counties, contrary to the practice 
now prevailing, put forward their strongest 
men for the general assembly. The contest 
was a memorable one, and at the election, then 
held in August, the Relief party won. As is 
now the case, only half of the senate was 
chosen, the remaining half holding over from 
the previous session. That body stood twen- 
ty-two Relief and sixteen Anti-Relief. In 
the house, numbering one hundred members, 
sixty-one members were of the Relief party; 
thirty-nine, Anti-Relief. The popular vote 
for governor was as follows: Desha, 38,378; 
Tompkins, 22,499. 

There were changes in the house member- 
ship, but it remained a very strong body. Mr. 
Rowan came back as a matter of course. The 
Anti-Relief party lost in numbers, but made 
some strong intellectual gains. James Simp- 
son, who came from Clark county, was after- 
wards an able member of the court of ap- 
peals, as was Daniel Breck, who with Squire 
Turner, an able lawyer, represented Madison 
county. Henry Crittenden, afterwards a 
member of congress, came from Shelby; Rob- 
ert Wicklifife from Fayette, and Ben Hardin 
and Ben Chapeze, from Nelson. Judge Lit- 
tle, who has known many legislatures, says: 
"Rarely has a legislative body averaged so 
well in talent." 

When the legislature assembled Novem- 
ber 1st, it was organized, of course, by the 
Relief majority, Robert J. Ward, of Scott, a 
new member, being chosen speaker. 

This legislature, like its predecessor, seemed 
to believe in the value of preambles and reso- 
lutions, especially where they were of great 



length and filled with high sounding phrases. 
The recalcitrant judges having failed to re- 
verse their decision, or to resign, on the 20th 
of December a long preamble and resolution 
were offered in the house "addressing" the 
judges out of office, but this failed to receive 
the required two-thirds affirmative vote. The 
senate, foreseeing this result, had approached 
the subject from another angle, and on De- 
cember 9th had passed a bill repealing all acts 
establishing the court of appeals and providing 
for its reorganization. The court of appeals 
was established by the constitution, but its or- 
ganization was left to the discretion of the 
general assembly in establishing the number 
of judges which had long since been done. 
The appointment of the judges was by the 
governor, "by and with the advice of the sen- 
ate." The house consumed three days in the 
discussion of the senate measure. The debate 
was able and spirited, the great Ben Hardin 
consuming a great part of the time in an able 
legal argument against the senate measure. 
There was great tumult and disorder in the 
house. The governor, contrary to precedent, 
was on the floor in the interest of the sen?te 
bill. It would be impolite to accuse so ex- 
alted a human being as a governor of lobby- 
ing. The late Chief Justice George Robertson 
said that "the scene resembled a camp meet- 
ing in confusion and clamor but lacked its 
holy impulses." The bill passed without dif- 
ficulty and was approved by the governor. 
Whether or not it thus became a law was to 
be determined later. 

The court of appeals liaving, for the time 
being, been supposedly legislated out of ex- 
istence, Governor Desha on January 10, 1825, 
appointed as chief justice of the New Court 
William T. Barry, and as associate justices, 
James Haggin, John Trimble and Benjamin 
W. Patton. On the death of Patton which 
occurred soon afterward, Rezin H. Davidge 
was appointed to succee'd him. Barry was 
distinguished as a criminal lawyer, but is re- 

ported to have been under disadvantages as 
a judge. Haggin was a prominent member 
of the bar of Lexington, where he had an 
extensive practice. Violent assaults were 
made upon his private character to an extent 
which caused him to profess fear of assassina- 
tion. Trimble was the brother of Robert 
Trimble, who died as a justice of the supreme 
court of the United States. John Trimble 
had been secretary for Robert Evans, when 
the latter was governor of Indiana territory, 
and had studied law in the office of George 
Nicholas, of Lexington. He practiced law at 
Paris from 1807 to 1816, when he was ap- 
pointed circuit judge, and removed to Cynthi- 
ana. In the heat of the contest between the 
Old and New Court adherents, his ability was 
questioned, but that is nothing new in parti- 
san politics. Of Davidge nothing is known 
beyond the fact that he was apponted to the 
New Court to fill a vacancy caused by the 
death of Patton. 

It is the consensus o-f opinion among un- 
prejudiced lawyers, that the New Court in no 
wise measured up to the ability of the mem- 
bers of the Old Court, whom the legislature 
had voted out of office. The governor might 
have gone further and appointed a far abler 
court, as political acumen would have 
prompted him to do. The ablest man in the 
Relief party was John Rowan, who not only 
was a leader of his party in the legislature but 
a great power before the people. He was re- 
moved from the position of leader by the en- 
thusiasm of the members of his party in the 
legislature who elected him to the United 
States senate. At once the Anti-Relief, or 
Old Court party, claimed that his entire ac- 
tion had been prompted by personal ambition, 
and that instead of being the tribune of the 
people as he had professed, his ambitious gaze 
had all along been fixed upon a seat in the 
senate. This was an injustice to Rowan. 
Kentuckians are an impressionable people. 
Thev had seen Rowan making a brave fight 



in the legislature for what they deemed their" 
best interests, and it is probable that the elec- 
tion of no other man in the state would have 
given the majority greater pleasure than did 
that of Rowan. Then, too, he was a man of 
ability, equal to any demands that might be 
made upon him in the high forum he was 
about to enter. But his advancement was a 
severe blow to his adherents, who speedily 
felt the loss of their spirited and accomplished 

When the New Court assembled, Achilles 
Sneed, clerk of the Old Court, refused to sur- 
render the records of the office. Francis P. 
Blair, afterwards to be of wide national prom- 
inence, was appointed clerk of the New Court 
and took forcible possession of the records, 
bloodshed being only averted by the council 
of cool heads. The grand jury of Franklin 
county indicted the judges and officers of the 
New Court for this offense, but nothing ever 
came of the indictment. The high feeling of 
the moment found vent through the grand ju- 
ries of several counties, which indicted the 
members of the legislature for passing the 
act of reorganization. If half the energy 
brought into play on the two sides of this con- 
troversy had been devoted by the excited peo- 
ple to the advancement of their own personal 
interests many of them would have been ena- 
bled to discharge their indebtedness and have 
no need of relief. 

Everywhere there was discord. Madison 
C. Johnson, later an eminent lawyer and 
financier, was for some time denied admission 
to the bar of Woodford county, because his 
license to practice law was signed by Judges 
Owsley and Boyle of the Old Court. Judge 
Bledsoe, of the Woodford circuit court, finally 
admitted him to practice, waiving the alleged 
irregularity of his license. Throughout the 
state meetings were held, some approving, 
others disapproving the action of the legisla- 
ture. The members of the Old Court issued 
an address to the people; Sneed, the clerk of 

the court, and the minority of the legislature 
followed suit. Pamphlets for the one side or 
the other were issued in accordance with the 
custom of that day, and the newspaper col- 
umns bore more of discussion than of news. 
Charges and counter-charges were the order 
of the day. Barry and Haggin had to endure 
assaults upon their personal integrity. Mills 
was charged with acting as appellate judge in 
a cause in which he had appeared as council 
before his advancement to the bench. Barry, 
after his appointment but before taking the 
oath of office, had defended the son of Gover- 
nor Desha, who was charged with highway 
robbery and murder. All these charges and 
scores of others were repeated, enlarged upon 
and discussed with bitterness from one end of 
the state to the other and almost a state of 
anarchy existed. It is doubted if the days of 
1861-5, when the War Between the States was 
raging, were more filled with bitterness than 
were the days of this Old and New Court con- 

The Old Court remained open for the per- 
formance of its official duties and to it some 
brought their appeals, while others went to 
the New Court. No one knew what the final 
outcome would be; no one knew to which 
court appeals for an adjustment of real or 
imagined wrongs should be made. Men who 
had no business before the courts, and who 
probably never would have, were wrought up 
to the same high state of feeling as the men 
whose interests amounting to many thous- 
ands of dollars were involved. Those in charge 
of estates involved in litigation were in sore 
straits, knowing not whether to turn to the 
New or to the Old Court. Such a condition 
of affairs could not safely be endured for a 
long time. Some wise man has said that when 
affairs become very bad they right themselves. 
Certainly they were in a very bad state now 
in Kentucky and that they should be speedily 
righted was the great demand of the hour. 

The end was rapidly approaching. At the 



legislative election held in Augiist, 1825, six- 
ty-five Old Court and thirty-five New Court 
representatives w-ere chosen. The senate was 
evenly divided, as only one-half of its mem- 
bers were chosen at the biennial elections. 
The majority party had sent its strong men to 
the general assembly. 

The body convened November "th, in the 
midst of the greatest excitement Frankfort 
had ever known to that date. Solomon P. 
Sharp, attorney general of the state, had been 
elected to the house from Franklin county 
after a spirited and exciting contest. He was 
an able and successful lawyer, personally very 
popular, and it was hoped by his friends that 
he would be chosen speaker. On the night 
of November 6th, Colonel Sharp was called 
to the door of his residence in Frankfort and 
stabbed to death by the hand of an assassin. 

The house met, oppressed with gloom. The 
pitiful animosities of political life were for- 
gotten for the time. George Robertson was 
chosen speaker without opposition, and the 
house immediately adopted resolutions re- 
questing the governor to offer a reward of 
$3,000 for the arrest of the assassin. Other 
resolutions were also adopted to the effect that 
"the legislature and the state of Kentucky 
were called on to mourn the loss of one of 
their ablest and most distinguished citizens." 

Jeroboam Beauchamp, a young lawyer of 
Warren county, was arrested and charged 
with the murder ; was indicted, convicted and 
sentenced to death. Beauchamp charged that 
Sharp had maintained improper relations with 
his wife. After his conviction and but a short 
time before the date set for his execution. 
Beauchamp and his unfortunate wife at- 
tempted suicide. The wife was successful, 
but Beauchamp's attempt failed and soon 
afterwards, while still in a half conscious 
state, he was executed. 

After the excitement of these tragnc events 
had partially subsided, a bill was offered and 

■passed in the house repealing the reorganiza- 
tion measure. In the senate there was an 
equal division of the vote, whereupon Lieu- 
tenant Governor McAfee voted in the nega- 
tive and the bill was lost. Subsequently, un- 
der a joint resolution of the two houses a com- 
mittee of six was appointed "for the purpose 
of conferring and devising such practical 
measures as to them shall seem most expe- 
dient, in order to settle the difficulties in rela- 
tion to the Appellate Court." This committee 
and others appointed for a like purpose, 
played politics rather than patriotism with the 
result that nothing came of their delibera- 
tions. The legislature completing its term, ad- 
journed leaving the legal business of the peo- 
ple in the same chaotic state in which they 
found it on assembling. 

The New Court sat during the spring and 
a part of the fall term of 1825, discontinuing 
the decision of causes in October, though it 
continued its sittings for some time afterward. 
After the legislature convened in November, 
Mr. Blair, clerk of the New Court, closed his 
office and refused to surrender the records or 
to permit litigants or their lawyers to have 
access to them. The house adopted a resolu- 
tion declaring it to be the sense of that body 
that the sergeant of the Old Court should re- 
cover the records and deliver them to the lat- 
ter body. Blair, upon learning of the adop- 
tion of this resolution, placed an armed force 
in his office. The sergeant of the Old Court 
did not call upon Clerk Blair. The legislature 
after considering the situation for six weeks, 
adjourned and went home. But before doing 
this the majority in the house issued a flam- 
boyant address to "The People of Kentucky" 
in which they threshed over the old straw of 
the Old and the New Court controversy, con- 
cluding as follows : "On you hangs the fate 
of the constitution. Having done all that we 
could, we submit the issue to God and the 
people." This address is believed to have 



been written by the speaker, George Robert- 

At the election of a new legislature in Au- 
gust, 1826, the final blow was struck against 
the New Court, a decided majority of mem- 
bers of each house being chosen favorable to 
the Old Court. During the following legisla- 
tive session an act was passed declaring in full 
force and effect all acts pretended to be re- 
pealed by the reorganization acts. Governor 
Desha vetoed this bill, but it was passed over 
the veto by the necessary majority and became 
a law. the governor's objections to the con- 
trary notwithstanding, December 20, 1826. 

Mr. Blair capitulated ; his army laid down 
its arms, the records of the office were sur- 
rendered to the constituted authorities of the 
Old Court, and the New Court passed out of 
existence after a stonny and by no means 
beautiful life. During its brief and tempest- 
uous existence the New Court rendered sev- 
enty-two decisions. These are preserved in 
second Ben Monroe's Reports. These decis- 
ions are not relied upon by lawyers in their 
practice. The Old Court was sitting after 
December, 1825, thotigh the repealing act was 
not passed for a year aftenvards. 

It is interesting to note that in August, 
1826, when the death-knell of the New Court 
was sounded by the people at the polls, Judge 
James Clark, whose decision declaring the re- 
lief laws unconstitutional, had caused the long 
and bitter conflict, was elected to congress, 
thus adding a bitter note to the blow which 
ended the existence of the New Court. 

Of the judges connected with this unexam- 
pled condition. Judge Boyle resigned as chief 
justice. November 8, 1826, to become federal 
judge of the district of Kentucky, which po- 
sition he filled with great honor until his death 
January 25, 1835. Judge Robertson, one of 
the greatest judges the state has ever known, 
said of him : ".\s a lawyer he was candid, 
conscientious and faithful : as a statesman, 

honest, disinterested and patriotic ; as a judge, 
pure, impartial and enlightened ; as a citizen, 
upright, just and faultless; as a neighbor, 
kind, aft'able and condescending; as a man, 
chaste, modest and benignant; as a husband, 
most constant, affectionate and devoted." The 
extravagant style of expression at that day 
was exhausted in this eulogium of Boyle. 

Judge Mills remained in office until 1828, 
when he resigned to resume the practice at 
Paris, where he was sucessful. He died De- 
cember 6, 1828, from a stroke of apoplexy, 
thus depriving the state of one of its ablest 
sons w ho ever sought the good of the majority. 

Judge Owsley retired at the same time with 
Judge Mills. 

Though the New Court had passed out of 
existence, its influence yet remained. Na- 
tional politics had been injected into state af- 
fairs. Judge Little, in his "Life of Ben Har- 
din," says Duff' Green, in a letter dated Louis- 
ville, September 6, 1826, and addressed to 
Governor Ninian Edwards of Illinois, says; 
"The Old and New Court question is already 
lost in this state. The New Court men, with 
scarcely an exception, are for Jackson, and 
the strong men of the Old Court party are 
more than divided in his favor. Why the 
New Court men took refuge as a body, under 
the banner of the 'Old Hero,' is one of those 
political problems for which many reasons 
can be given, yet none with entire assurance." 
A quarter of a century later, during the dis- 
cussion attending the propositions for the con- 
stitutional convention of 1849, it was observed 
by an intelligent writer that "the political par- 
ties in the state took the form and organiza- 
tion which they have retained with little va- 
riation ever since, in the fierce and bitter 
struggle growing out of the attempts of the 
legislature to interfere with the contracts of 
individuals and the firm resistance of the 
courts to this interference. Whatever names 
parties may have worn since then, whatever 


questions may have agitated or excited them, principles in society, which divide the consti- 

the Hnes then drawn have never been obhter- tutional conservative on the one side from the 

ated and never will be. They are the eternal Jacobin and the Radical on the other." 
lines which distinguish the great antagonistic 



Clay or Jackson — Clay's Political Blunder — The Making of Jackson — "The Man on 
Horseback" — Pathetic Death of Whig Party^ — Wild Banking in Kentucky' — Base- 
less Paper Money: Boundless Speculation — Cry for Relief Answered. 

A presidential election was now impending 
and it was expected that President Adams 
would succeed himself. If Adams were not 
his own successor, it was expected that Henry 
Clay would be chosen in his stead. 

Clay had represented his country with great 
honor at Ghent when the treaty of peace with 
England had been arranged. He had a bril- 
liant career in congress, unequalled by that of 
any other man ; as speaker of the house he 
had acquitted himself with credit. His tal- 
ents and his patriotic devotion to his country, 
were everywhere acknowledged. He had held 
the position of secretary of state which, for 
years, had pointed to the presidency. Yet 
across his path to that high honor there stalked 
the grim figure of Andrew Jackson. 

The people of the United States, peace-lov- 
ing as they are, have always had a warm spot 
in their hearts for the successful soldier. The 
east, then as now, considered no man from 
the west as its equal. The man whose an- 
cestors had not set foot upon Plymouth Rock 
was not to be considered in the selection of a 
president. Jackson was a plebeian, a North 
Carolina mountaineer, and, though he had 
won the great victory at New Orleans, he was 
not to be considered as a possible president. 
Henry Clay, a Virginian, not an aristocrat by 
birth, but an able man by reason of intellect, 
made an appeal to them which Jackson could 
never do. Adams was elected president by 
the house, but the vote of Mr. Clay for Adams 

in the house sounded the death knell of his 
presidential hopes. Either he should win in 
1828, or Jackson should take the prize. 

Of the campaign in that year. Judge Little 
reports Baldwin as saying: "The election of 
Adams by the house of representatives was 
turned to account with all its incidents and 
surroundings, with admirable effect by Gen- 
eral Jackson. No one now believes the story 
of bargain, intrigue and management told 
upon Adams and Clay, but General Jackson 
believed it and what is more, made the coun- 
try believe it in 1825. Adams was an unpop- 
ular man, of an unpopular section of the 
country. Crawford's friends were as little 
pleased as Jackson's with the course affairs 
took. The warfare upon Adams was hailed 
by them with joy and they became parties to 
an opposition of which, it was easy to see, 
Jackson was to be the beneficiary." 

Clay's ambition, or incaution, betrayed him 
into the serious and as it turned out, so far as 
concerns the presidency, the fatal error of 
accepting office, the first office, under the ad- 
ministration which he called into power. It 
was in all political respects, an inexcusable 
blunder. The office added nothing to his fame. 
It added nothing to his chances for the presi- 
dency. He was, on the contrary, to share the 
odium of an administration at whose head was 
a very obstinate man of impracticable temper, 
coming by a sort of bastard process, into of- 
fice, bearing a name which was the synonym 



of political heterodoxy and whose administra- 
tion was fated to run a gauntlet from the start 
to the close, through a long lane of clubs 
wielded by the Forsythes, McDufifies, Ran- 
dolphs and almost the whole talent of the 

Air. Clay was a statesman and an absolutely 
honest man. He made a mistake in voting 
for Mr. Adams and but for that mistake, he 
would, soon or late, have been president of the 
United States. He was not a mere politician ; 
had he been, he would have played the game 
differently. He might have voted for Craw- 
ford, who was not likely to live until the next 
election. But Clay placed himself alongside 
of those who supported Mr. Adams and 
brought about the latter's election. The op- 
posing forces of that day charged Mr. Clay 
with corruption. Time softens the asperities 
of politics and today there is none to believe 
that Mr. Clay was corrupt. The worst that 
can be said, is that he made a mistake in ac- 
cepting a position in Mr. Adams' cabinet. Mr. 
Clay's place was in the senate, and there he 
should have remained. No greater senator 
has held a seat in that body — not Webster; 
not Calhoun : no man was greater there than 
Henry Clay. 

A historian of that period has written of 
the attacks upon Mr. Clay and those who be- 
lieved with him : "Those assaults were not 
slow in coming. The public mind had been 
fallow for some years, and was prepared for 
a bountiful crop of political agitation. Jack- 
son raised the war cry and the hills and val- 
leys all over the land echoed back the shout. 
A lava-tide of obloquy poured in a flood over 
Clay. It seemed to take him by surprise. The 
idea that his voting for Adams and then oc- 
cupying the first office in his gift, seconded 
by the supports which the hypotheses of 'bar- 
gain' found, or were made for it, should orig- 
inate such a charge, seems never to have en- 
tered his imagination, and when it came he 
had the weakness to attempt to strangle it by 

personal intimidation or to avenge it by vio- 

"The election of Adams under such circum- 
stances, was the making of Jackson. It filled 
up his popularity. It completely nationalized 
it. The States Rights party, to whoin the 
name and lineage of Adams were enough for 
opposition, turned at once to the man who 
could best defeat him and saw at a glance who 
that man was, and the popular sympathy was 
quickly aroused in behalf of the honest, old 
soldier, circumvented by two cunning politi- 

In 1832, Mr. Clay was again a candidate for 
the presidency, but was defeated by General 
Jackson, who had been referred to in preced- 
ing campaigns as "the honest old soldier, cir- 
cumvented by cunning politicians." If his- 
tory were a place for jokes, this would be a 
point where one could be interjected. The 
idea of .Andrew Jackson being circumvented 
by cunning politicians is calculated to cause a 
smile wherever the actions of that sturdy old 
soldier are known. What he did not know 
about the practical side of politics it was worth 
the time of no man to learn. Mr. Clay pos- 
sessed the politician's hatred for General 
Jackson and when each of them had passed 
from the arena in which their lieutenants had 
bravely struggled, they left a heritage of ha- 
tred which did not die for years. How piti- 
ful is this bitterness of politics. Men who 
stand shoulder to shoulder in business affairs ; 
who entrust thousands of dollars to each other 
without a written word to witness the trans- 
action, profess not to believe in the honesty 
of their political opponents and can find no 
words which properly define that distrust. It 
is sickening and disgusting to know that this 
is true, and the writer of these words is glad 
to know that he has reached an age when he 
can give to political friend and political op- 
ponent an equal meed of praise. The man who 
cannot do so, is a man who puts political place 
and power above political decency. The masses 



of mankind are personally honest and the man 
who arrogates to himself and those who join 
in his beliefs, all the honesty and relegates to 
the opposition all the dishonesty of political 
belief, is a man who should be constantly 
watched because he is not a good citizen. The 
division of political parties in our country is 
too nearly equal for all the good men to be- 
long to the one party, all the bad men to the 

The Whig party in Kentucky, which had 
supported Mr. Clay with an enthusiasm rarely 
equaled, felt very bitterly the effects of de- 
feat. He was the idol of his party and justly 
so. No greater man had led a party to vic- 
tory or defeat than he. Not the solid Repub- 
lican phalanx which in after years, stood like 
a stone wall by the side of Mr. Blaine, the 
favorite son of his party, was more earnest 
than the men who aligned themselves by the 
side of Mr. Clay and who, time after time, 
went down to defeat with Kentucky's favorite 
son. The Whig party maintained its organi- 
zation in Kentucky but to do so, it must main- 
tain a constant struggle. The seeds of disso- 
lution had been sown and it was not long un- 
til they would blossom into full fruitage and 
the party cease to be. It only remained for 
Mr. Clay to pass from the field of action when 
there should be no Whig party in Kentucky or 

Jackson was the hero of the moment. The 
people of the United States have never feared 
"the man on horseback." To the contrary, 
they have always advanced him to high exec- 
utive position. Mr. Clay did not recognize 
this fact. He claimed that the people should 
distrust the military chieftain, whose election 
to high position was dangerous to the safety 
of the government. The people thought oth- 
erwise. They elevated to the presidency — 
Washington, the Father of his Country, who 
was nothing if not a soldier ; they put into 
power later, Harrison, Taylor and Grant, the 
latter long after Mr. Clay had passed away ; 

and under none of these did the republic suf- 
fer. "The Man on Horseback," may prove 
a shibboleth for the opposition, but he can 
never disturb nor distress the republic, 
whether successful or not in his efforts to 
reach the presidency. Mr. Clay, though of hum- 
ble birth, was, in the end, a patrician. He 
could never abide the low-born Jackson and af- 
ter the success of the latter, he is found writ- 
ing to a friend : "The military principles have 
triumphed and triumphed in the person of one 
devoid of all the graces, elegancies and mag- 
nanimity of the accomplished men of the pro- 
fessions." But it was not then as it is not 
now, a wise thing to underestimate the power 
of one's adversary. Jackson was president 
and president he was destined to be for eight 
years, during which by a skillful use of the 
tremendous power of the presidency, he built 
up a party which the opposition could not suc- 
cessfully assail and which gave to him the 
opportunity to name his successor in the exec- 
utive office. 

Mr. Clay, though the idol of his party, and 
justly so, was compelled to bide his time, 
awaiting new opportunities and by the irony 
of fate new defeats. The Whig party in Ken- 
lucky awaited with i\Ir. Clay, the coming of 
the day when it should come into power, ever 
hopeful ; ever doomed to defeat. It had no 
part in the control of the affairs of the gov- 
trnment ; it had a high disdain for those who 
controlled national affairs ; it was the aristo- 
crat of politics and looked with disdain upon 
those who enjoyed the loaves and fishes which 
it imagined belonged by divine right, to itself. 
It was dying not slowly but swiftly and did 
not know it. There came a few years after- 
wards the dreadful war which separated our 
people and among other ideas which were defi- 
nitely settled by that contest were the ques- 
tions which the Whig party had deemed its 
own, and which were no more to be considered 
l;)y the people of Kentucky. It was not slav- 
ery alone which that contest definitely set- 



tied ; it was a new alignment of political par- 
ties and the old Whig party was not among 
them, because it was dead. There was some- 
thing pathetic about its demise, chiefly because 
it did not know that its end had come. For 
years after the war had closed, there were 
sturdy old aristocrats who voted the Demo- 
cratic ticket, explaining meanwhile, that they 
had to do so, not that they were Democrats, 
but that they were not Republicans and had to 
vote against some one. It is pleasant to re- 
member these sturdy old gentlemen today. 
They remind us of the ruffle-shirted, knee 
breeches era and one can easily see them go- 
ing to the polls and voting for Mr. Clay, after 
that great statesman had passed to his re- 
ward ; even as the Democrats were charged 
with voting for General Jackson years after 
he had been gathered to his fathers. 

It would be pleasant for the historian of 
this period to cease to consider the Old Court 
and New Court question, but it was not to be 
disposed of, though the latter had met its de- 
served end. It was to mingle, in some de- 
gree, with the politics of Kentucky for some 
years yet. 

The Commonwealth's Bank and the replevin 
laws which were a part of its history, were 
doomed to destruction by the triumph of the 
Old Court party. The replevin laws were re- 
pealed, and the bank was destroyed by suc- 
cessive acts of the legislature directing that 
its paper should be gradually destroyed in- 
stead of being reissued. In a few years, all 
of its issue had disappeared from commerce 
and in its stead, the issue of the United States 
Bank was accepted. This latter bank had two 
branches in the state, one at Louisville, and 
the other at Lexington. Jackson and the party 
which stood behind him, had for their object 
the destruction of this bank, and when Jack- 
son was re-elected president in 1832, the end 
of the bank was near. No one expected its 
charter to be renewed, and in its stead state 

banks were to be established throughout the 
Union to supply its place. 

In 1833 and 1834, the legislature estab- 
lished the Bank of Kentucky, the Bank of 
Louisville and the Bank of Northern Ken- 
tucky; the first with a capital of five millions, 
the second with a capital of two millions and 
the third with a capital of three million dol- 

The usual result followed this multiplica- 
tion of banks and the enormous increase of 
capital. Paper money was everywhere to be 
had and the wildest spirit of speculation dom- 
inated the country. Prices of the commonest 
commodities rose to high figures, and the dif- 
ferent municipalities, even the states, em- 
barked in enterprises on the most gigantic 
scale. The people went mad in speculation. 
Not the tulip excitement of Holland was 
greater than that which sent the people into 
the stock market, mad with the desire for the 
sudden accumulation of riches. Where men 
had not money, they borrowed it at ruinous 
rates. Railroads, canals, slack water naviga- 
tion, turnpike roads, any and everything that 
looked like public improvement, caught the 
popular fancy and the people, gone mad with 
the idea of great riches speedily to accrue, put 
into these schemes every dollar they could bor- 
row and calmly sat down awaiting the flow 
into tlieir cofTers of endless riches. There 
could be but one end to this wild scheme of 
investment with no solid backing behind it. 

In the spring of 1837, all the banks of Ken- 
tucky suspended specie payments and the end 
was near. Kentucky was spending one mil- 
lion dollars annually in the construction of 
turnpike roads, the improvement of water 
ways, and was looking to the early construc- 
tion of railways. The people, vainly imagin- 
ing that the plenitude of money was to be con- 
tinuous, were involved in speculations heed- 
less of the day of settlement. There was near 
them a day like that which had brought about 



the relief agitation of the recent years, 
yet they hahed not but continued their 
financial operations based upon imaginary cap- 
ital as though the day of settlement were never 
to come. They seemed then to believe that 
the printing press would issue paper for their 
redemption, as many years later their descend- 
ants were to imagine tliemselves rich men, if 
only the mints would coin silver dollars as 
fast as their demands were made. 

When the legislature met in 1837, it made 
legal the suspension of specie payments ; re- 
fused to order the banks to resume such pay- 
ment, and also refused to declare forfeited 
their charters. In other words, it gave the 
banks carte blanche to continue as they had 
been and left the people to suffer. The banks 
and the people minimized as much as was 
within their power, the crisis which was upon 
them. This gave temporary relief only. There 
was no specie available for any purpose. There 
were issued by towns, cities and individuals 
small representatives of currency which had 
no value beyond its immediate place of issue. 
In later years, like small currency was issued 
by the United States and was known as "shin- 
plasters," and which served a very useful pur- 

In the midst of the crisis of 1837, the banks 
were managed with prudence, and forbore to 
press their creditors. In the latter portion of 

1838, they cautiously begim the resumption of 
specie payments and as this spread through- 
out the United States, confidence vvas again 
felt and speculation was resumed, the appar- 
ent prosperity causing many to believe that 
there was no longer a panic to be feared. 

But there was not yet a firm foundation for 
financial prosperity. In the latter months of 

1839, specie payments ceased to be made by 
all except a few eastern banks. Bankruptcy 

started the people in the face. Many states 
could not pay the interest upon their bonded 
indebtedness. Kentucky added fifty per cent 
to her direct tax to avoid defaulting upon her 
general indebtedness. In 1841-42, she was no 
longer able to postpone the day of reckoning. 
Her courts were congested with suits filed for 
the collection of private indebtedness. Prop- 
erty was being sacrificed under forced sales 
on every hand. 

The people, willing to pay, anxious to pay, 
were unable to do so, and once again the for- 
mer cry for relief was heard. Regardless of 
the failure of the past, the harassed debtors 
made a demand for a Bank of the Common- 
wealth which should offer them a way of re- 
lief, permit them to meet their indebtedness 
and save for their families the property they 
had accumulated. It is characteristic of the 
debtor class that they seize upon every device 
that is offered and recognize in each, the pan- 
acea for all their financial woes. It was so in 
1896 and will be so as long as men owe more 
than they can pay. 

In the elections of 1842, the old Relief party 
found itself again to the fore but only tempo- 
rarily so. The legislature when assembled, re- 
jected the measures offered by the Relief 
party having learned something by experience. 
But concessions were not denied and the more 
reasonable of the members of that party 
agreed to these and there was a practical ad- 
justment of conditions. Certain terms of the 
circuit courts and of the magistrates' courts, 
were for the time being discontinued, in or- 
der that judgments might not be had against 
helpless debtors. The banks were required to 
issue more money and to give longer accom- 
modation on their paper. Gradually business 
became more settled and by 1844, aflfairs had 
assumed practically their normal condition. 


Internal Improvements — Public Roads — River Improvements — Ohio Canal First 

Railroad West of Alleghanies — Breathitt's "Jacksoniax Administration" Spec- 
ulative Bubble Burst — Harrison Elected President — Clay Again Defeated. 

There was a new subject now to hold the 
attention of the people of Kentucky. They 
had agonized under the weight of debts which 
they were unable to pay, and no people suffer 
greater from such a burden than Kentuckians. 
They enjoy being rich and having all that 
riches imply, but they do not enjoy being rich 
while owing money to other people. They de- 
sire that which is justly coming to them, but 
they desire more than all else that those to 
whom they owe money shall have it paid in 
full. There was a man in Louisville in those 
days who was unable to meet his obligation, 
and who was forced into bankruptcy. He 
kept a strict account of his indebtedness, and 
when better days came to him and he had ac- 
cumulated a fund sufficiently large to dis- 
charge his entire indebtedness with interest 
added, he called together his creditors and 
paid every one of them in full, principal and 
interest. The creditors who had no right to 
expect anything from the bankrupt house, 
tendered a testimonial to their debtor and it 
stands today in the business house of his hon- 
ored sons as a tribute to the honesty of Will- 
iam Kendrick. 

The question of internal improvement now 
became paramount in Kentucky. There was 
so much which needed to be done and so little 
assistance which the counties could do. They 
were forced to look to the state, however 
much many persons might object to the state 
becoming a party to internal improvements. 
There were no railroads in these earlv days. 

and the best that could be done in the im- 
provement of transportation was the turnpike 
road. Perhaps the first concessions for the 
construction of these roads was in 1802, when 
certain persons were authorized to construct 
and maintain turnpikes on the road from Cum- 
berland Gap to Crab Orchard, from Paris to 
the mouth of the Big Sandy, and other less 
important lines. In December, 1826, Gover- 
nor Desha advocated the extension of state aid 
to a highway from Maysville, by way of Paris, 
Lexington and Frankfort to Louisville, and, 
in addition, other lines of less importance. The 
first mentioned line was constructed and is yet 
in use, being known by the old surviving resi- 
dents of its earlier days as the State Pike. 

Governor Desha, while having constantly 
in mind, the value of internal improvements, 
did not forget the important feature of com- 
mon schools. In one of his messages he said : 
"The subjects of common schools and in- 
ternal improvements may be made auxiliary to 
each other. Let the School fund now in the 
Bank of the Commonwealth, $140,917, the 
proceeds of the sale of vacant lands, the bank 
stock held by the State, $721,238, and all other 
funds which can be raised by other means 
than taxes on the people, be vested in the 
turnpike roads ; and the net profits from tolls 
on these roads be sacredly devoted to the in- 
terests of education." 

Smith, in his "History of Kentuckv." says 
of this era in the State: 

"In May, 1827, the Maysville and Lexing- 




ton Turnpike Company was incorporated 
anew, with a capital of tliree hundred and 
twenty thousand dollars. The general gov- 
ernment was expected to subscribe for one 
hundred thousand dollars and the state gov- 

CoL'kT HnrsL-: ].\ .Mavsville, Cu.\strulti£d 
i.x 1840 

ernment for another hundred thousand dollars 
of this. The secretary of war ordered the 
survey of a route for a great national highway 
from Zanesville, Ohio, throug'h Maysville, 
Lexington, Xashville, Tennessee, and Flor- 
ence, Alabama, to New Orleans. In Febru- 
ary, 1828, the legislature of Kentucky recom- 
mended congress to facilitate and aid the con- 
struction of this important national highway 
and instructed the Kentucky representatives 
in congress to support the measure. The bill 

passed the house hut, by the coincidence of a 
very close vote, it was defeated in the senate 
by the unfortunate vote, in opposition, by 
Senator John Rowan of Kentucky, and at a 
time when President John Adams would read- 
ily have signed it. 

"The total amount expended on the perma- 
nenf improvement of navigation on Green and 
Barren rivers to Bowling Green, requiring 
four locks in Green and one in Barren, was 
$859,126. From 1843 to 1865, twenty-two 
years, thirteen annual dividends were paid 
out of the tolls on these rivers, yet, on the 
whole, the expenses were $269,813 against 
$265,002 of receipts, showing a total excess 
of $4,811 of expenses in twenty years. In the 
report of 1844, the board of internal improve- 
ment asserted that the works on Green river 
cost the state five times the estimate of 1833, 
and on Kentucky river, three to four times 
the estimate. The average cost per mile on 
Green river was $5,010, against the estimate 
of $1,283 for one hundred and eighty miles 
or nearly four-fold. Surveys and estimates 
were made for Rockcastle, upper and lower 
Cumberland, Goose Creek, and north fork of 
the Kentucky river. Salt, Little and Big 
Sandy, Licking and other rivers of less note. 

'Tn 1836, the estimated cost of seventeen 
locks and dams, after a survey from the 
mouth to Middle Fork of the Kentucky river, 
and on two hundred and fifty-seven miles of 
channel route, was $2,297,416, or an average 
of $8,922 per mile. But five of the locks and 
dams were completed, from the mouth of the 
river to Steele's ripple above Frankfort. The 
gross receipts of Kentucky river navigation 
from 1843 to 1865, twenty-three years, were 
$461,781. against a total of expenditures of 
$303,707. leaving a net revenue of $158,074, 
making an average annual dividend of three- 
fourths of one per cent on the invested capi- 

"Another enterprise of national importance 
quite early commanded the attention of the 



Kentucky legislature. In December, 1804, 
an act was passed incorporating the Ohio 
Canal Company, designed to construct a canal 
from Louisville to Portland with capacity to 
pass all boats by the Falls. The charter was 
afterwards amended, requiring the canal to 
be cut on the Kentucky side of the river, mak- 
ing it real estate and exempting it from all 
taxation forever. The governor was directed 
to subscribe for fifty thousand dollars of the 
five hundred thousand dollars stock capital, 
with an option for fifty thousand more. Other 
options were given for the United States to 
subscribe sixty thousand dollars ; Pennsylva- 
nia and Virginia thirty thousand dollars each, 
and Maryland, New- York and Ohio, twenty 
thousand each. Subsequent legislation pro- 
vided similarly for this work, without practi- 
cal results, until 1826, when Governor Desha, 
in his message to the legislature, called at- 
tention to the urgent necessity, and value of 
this work, both for its pressing utility and the 
value of the investment as a pecuniary re- 
source. In this same year, congress ordered 
the purchase of one hundred thousand dollars 
of the forfeited stock. As many as one thou- 
sand men were employed during the summer 
and fall of 1826. \'arinus interruptions and 
changes retarded the completion of the canal, 
until it was finally opened for navigation in 
183 1. The entire cost of construction to Jan- 
uary. 1832. was $742,869. 

"Until January, 1840, the reports of divi- 
dends showed that the investment was richly 
remunerative to the stockholders. In 1838 
and 1839, the dividends reached fourteen and 
seventeen per cent, and, in the interim stock 
sold as high as $120 and $130 per share. The 
United States government, in 1842 owned 
29,002 shares of the stock of the par value of 
$290,000. After this year, no dividends were 
declared, the net earnings up to 1859. being 
appropriated to the purchase of stock owned 
by private individuals which was held in trust 
by the directors. .After 1859, the income was 

expended in the enlargement and improve- 
ment of the canal, or held to create a sinking 
fund to pay ofif the bonds issued to aid in en- 
largement. In 1866, this extension work 
stopped for want of funds, after $1,825,403 
had been expended, making the total cost to 
February, 1868, $2,823,403. The cost of com- 
pleting the enlargement on the scale projected, 
was estimated by the engineer in charge, to 
be $1,178,000. The city of Louisville and the 
state, having declined to embark more funds 
in the enterprise, the ownership and control 
gradually fell to the general government, 
which from 1868 to 1872, appropriated $1,- 
300,000 to the proposed completion. In 1874, 
it took final action toward assuming the pay- 
ment of $1,172,000 of bonds outstanding, an- 
other assumed possession of this great and 
important work, making it henceforth, a free 
canal excepting small charges to meet repairs 
and provide proper attention. In later years, 
the government has not only added to the ca- 
pacity of the canal, but has constructed dams 
across the river to the Indiana shore which 
have materially added to the advantages of 
the navigation of the Falls. A series of dams 
now in process of construction throughout the 
length of the river is expected to insure con- 
tinued navigation during all the year. 

"The Falls of the Ohio around the canal 
have a length of about three miles, while the 
canal is about two miles long. The fall of 
water in this distance is twenty-five and a 
quarter feet, sufficient, if utilized, to run three 
hundred factories and mills and thus support 
fifty thousand people, and which, in a great 
manufacturing section, would doubtless have 
been utilized years ago and made a source of 
vast industry and wealth." 

The first railroad constructed in the United 
States was the Baltimore and Ohio which 
was chartered in 1827. It was completed to 
Cumberland, Maryland, before 1848 and to 
the Ohio river by 1853. The first railroad 
built west of the Alleghany mountains was 



tliat from Lexington to Frankfort. In Alarcli, 
1830, Joseph Bruen exhibited in Lexington 
the model of a railroad steam engine and cars, 
declaring that they could be as readily pro- 
pelled by steam power as could boats upon 
the water. A route was surveyed from Lex- 
ington to Frankfort which showed the altitude 
of the former above the latter to be four hun- 
dred and thirty feet. October 22, 1831, the 

and rock." (Jf course, all this road-bed ma- 
chinery went to pieces before an experimen- 
tal trial could be effected. After persever- 
ing efforts for a few years, on the 25th of Jan- 
uary, 1835, the first locomotive and train of 
cars from Lexington arrived at the head of 
the inclined plane at Frankfort in two hours 
and twenty-nine minutes, amid the enthusiasm 
of the gratified populace. The railroads from 

Masonic Temple, AIavsville 

first sill for the Lexington and F'rankfort 
railroad was laid in the presence of a large 
concourse of people. From a publication of 
that period, the following description of the 
proposed road is given : "The model for this 
road was the result of an investigation by a 
committee appointed to travel east and ascer- 
tain the method of constructing a railroad. 
By their report, stone was quarried and 
dressed with one straight edge to be set up- 
ward and closely together forming exact par- 
allel double lines of curbing. On the face of 
this curbing the flat rails were laid horizon- 
tally and fastened down by spikes, driven 
through corresponding mortices in the rail 

Louisville to Frankfort, from Lexington to 
Covington, from Maysville to Paris and from 
Louisville to Nashville followed in due se- 
quence, but not immediately after this initial 
experience. From such small beginning, has 
grown the great railroad network of lines 
which cover the state and the south today. 

The initial railroad of the state, that from 
Lexington to Frankfort, first came down the 
hills surrounding the latter by a windlass 
power, though it was subsequently changed in 
its course and reached the capital city through 
the short tunnel along the bank of the Ken- 
tucky river which is now familiar to every 
traveler over that line which is popularly sup- 



posed to involve more extended curves than 
any other railroad in the country outside of 
the mountain districts. The object of the 
projectors of this line was to reach as many 
as possible of the county towns between Lex- 
ington and Louisville, and there seems no 
doubt that they succeeded. There is a tradi- 
tion that after the line between Lexington, via 
Frankfort, to Louisville had been surveyed, 
an engineer from the east was brought to Ken- 
tucky to examine the reports made by the 
local engineers. The story goes, and is a very 
probable one, that after he had gone over the 
proposed route and had examined the profile 
reports of the engineers, he reported that he 
had carefully observed the line marked out 
by the engineers and tliat he had found no 
place where he could put in another curve. On 
this report, the constructors proceeded to 
their work. As indicative of railroad construc- 
tion at that early day, it may be stated that 
on the line between Frankfort and Lexington 
there is a residence through which, via the 
rear door, one looks through the central hail 
to the front thereof, and subsequently, from 
the same train, through the front door to the 
rear thereof. In other words, one goes from 
the north, by way of the west, to the south of 
this residence and almost to the east. Thi^ 
is noted to illustrate the idea which obtained 
in the early construction of railroads that 
curves in the lines were necessary to prevent 
the engines and trains from leaving the track. 
How little truth there was in this contention 
has been many times illustrated since that 
time. The writer of this has traveled from 
Wilmington, Delaware, to Cape Charles. ''Vir- 
ginia, at the rate of sixty miles an hour on a 
track which, to the natural eye. showed no 
deviation from a direct line. 

John Breathitt was elected governor of 
Kentucky and James T. Moorehead. lieuten- 
ant governor in 1832. James Saunders was 
appointed secretary of state. This has been 
called bv one of the historians of Kentucky. 

"a Jacksonian administration, '' though it is 
doubted if one in ten of those who made the 
administration possible, knew precisely what 
a Jacksonian administration meant. Had these 
voters been asked, they could readily have re- 
plied that they were prejudiced in favor of a 
Jacksonian ticket, whatever it may have meant. 
It was this same year that General Jackson 
defeated Mr. Clay for the presidency. The 
issues were a national bank, a tariff for pro- 
tection, "the American principle," as Mr. 
Clay's followers termed it, and the policy of 
internal improvement. Mr. Clay, though en- 
tirely innocent of any wrong-doing, had to 
meet the charge of corruption in the election 
of Mr. Adams by the House in 1828. Ken- 
tucky refused to believe that her greatest 
statesman had done aught that he should not 
have done in that contest, and gave to Mr. 
Clay, as it should have done, a majority of 
over seven thousand. It is not improbable that 
many Kentuckians remembered at the polls 
the slanderous report that General Jackson 
had made as to the conduct of the unpro- 
tected, half-armed Kentucky troops at New 
Orleans and cast their ballots for Mr. Clay. 
The latter was probably the only man living 
who could have secured the vote of Ken- 
tucky against General Jackson, in this 
contest. The people of the United States 
have from the very beginning of the re- 
public, given their suffrages to military 
heroes and to Jackson who had shown 
great military capacity, they were especially 
favorable. General Jackson was an especial 
favorite in those days, as he is today. Men 
form themselves into political marching clubs 
todav using the name of Jackson as their own, 
who' could not, for their lives, tell when he 
was president or what he did while holding 
that high office. "Jeffersonian Democrats"' 
proudly flaunt their banners in political pi- 
rades who cannot recite the first sentence of 
the Declaration of Independence of which 
Tefferson was the author, nor tell the years 



when he was the president of the United 
States. There is a deal of humbuggery in 
politics today as there was in the older days. 

In 1836, James Clark was elected governor 
of Kentucky and Charles A. Wickliffe, lieu- 
tenant governor. James Bullock was ap- 
pointed secretary of state. In 1839 Gover- 
nor Clark died, and Wickliffe succeeded him. 
This latter gentleman seemed to have been 
born under a gubernatorial star. His son, 
Robert \\'ickliffe, became governor of Louis- 
iana and his grandson, J. Crepps Wickliffe 
Beckham, governor of Kentucky. 

During the gubernatorial term of Governor 
Clark, the speculative bubble burst. It had 
attracted the people of Kentucky until they 
were heavily involved. When in 1840 and 
1841, Robert P. Letcher and Manlius V. 
Thompson were governor and lieutenant gov- 
ernor, the storm burst upon the people. Nath- 
aniel P. Shaler, a noted Harvard professor 
and a native Kentuckian, says of the collapse 
of the financial bubble: "This episode closed 
the remarkable events in the history of the 
financial development of the state. From this 
time on, the Commonwealth banks were sin- 
gularly sound and efficient institutions. They 
were commonly domestic in their system ; they 
trusted for their strength to a mixture of con- 
trol exercised by the state through its owner- 
ship of stock and the citizen stockholders. 
They gave to the people a better currency 
than existed in any other state west of the 
mountains. Even in the trial of the Civil 
war, they stood, as they still stand, unbroken. 
Their strength is so great that although their 
currency has been destroyed by the laws of 
the United States, they remain the main- 
stays of the business of the Kentucky people, 
outside one or two of the larger cities." 

In 1840 Kentucky found itself in the 
throes of another heated national campaign 
and with memories of the days when her sons 
had followed William Henry Plarrison to vic- 
tory against the English and their Indian al- 

Vol. 1—17. 

lies, the state cast for him 58,489 votes and 
for his opponent. Martin ^'an Buren, 32,616. 
This heavy vote for Harrison was cast upon 
a military sentiment, notwithstanding that an 
able and gallant Kentucky soldier, Richard 
M. Johnson, was the candidate for vice-presi- 
dent upon the Van Buren ticket which fact 
probably reduced the Whig vote. 

In 1844 came the final vote which deter- 
mined that I\Ir. Clay, notwithstanding his 
great ability and popularity, would never be 
the president of the United States. He car- 
ried Kentucky by the meager majority of nine 
thousand, though Harrison, on the same 
ticket, four years previously, had carried the 
state by a majority of 25,873. There was a 
strong sentiment in favor of the annexation 
of Texas by the United States. The Demo- 
cratic party, sympathizing with the struggle 
the Texans had made and were still making 
to gain their independence from Mexico, fa- 
vored annexation. More than one of the 
prominent leaders of the Texan struggle was 
a Kentuckian, notable among these being Al- 
bert Sidney Johnston, who, before many more 
years, was to become a national character, 
known wherever gallant soldierly conduct was 
recognized. ]\fr. Clay was earnestly opposed 
to the extension of slavery, and probably be- 
cause of this he opposed the annexation of 
Texas, which he knew, if it came into the 
Union at all. would come as a slave state. It 
was this position which brought about bis de- 
feat by Air. Polk of Tennessee, the nominee 
of the Democratic party, who, by some ill- 
informed writers, desirous of adding force to 
the downfall of the Kentucky statesman, has 
been described as an unknown man of small 
force of character. Mr. Polk had held a high 
place in the hearts and minds of those who 
knew him best ; had had long service in con- 
gress and had been speaker of the national 
house. Of course, defeat was bitter to Mr. 
Clay, who was now an old man and who rec- 
ognized that but few, if any opportunities. 


were left him to reach the goal of his ambi- The struggle in Texas continued with ra- 
tion, but it is not true that his mind was em- newed force after the election of IMr. Polk, 
bittered by the reflection that his defeat had and in 1845 congress passed the enabling act 
been at the hands of a man of no importance, which admitted the new^ state to the Union. 


Nat-ural Sympathy with Texas — Opposition to Texas — Taylor Opens Mexican War 
— Kentucky's Mexican War Soldiers — Capture of Monterey — Awaiting Santa 
Anna at Buena Vista — Three Kentucky Regiments Present — Kentuckians at 
Buena Vista — Honors to Brave Kentuckians — "Cerro Gordo" Williams — Tri- 
umphant American Militiamen — Reimbursing the Vanquished — Field Officers 
of Third and Fourth Kentucky. 

\\'hen on April 21, 1836, General Sam 
Houston, in command of the troops of the re- 
public of Texas, defeated the Mexican forces 
on the Jacinto and captured Gen. Santa Anna, 
there was born an imperial state, soon to be- 
come an integral part of the United States. 
Gen. Santa Anna, overwhelmed by the magni- 
tude of the losses which his army had sus- 
tained, proposed to his captors to recognize 
tlie independence of Texas and thus end the 
war between Mexico and the new republic. 
But the civil authorities of Mexico refused to 
agree to the proposed recogition, declaring 
that they would not consent to the recognition 
of the independence of Texas. Relations be- 
tween the Mexicans and Texans remained bel- 
ligerent and there were frequent collisions be- 
tween the armed forces of the two countries. 
Texas, growing weary of a guerrilla warfare, 
turned naturally toward the United States and 
asked admission to the Union. Their plea was 
one difficult to resist. 

The white residents of Texas came princi- 
pally from this country, most of them from 
the southern states. Gen. Sam Houston w^as 
a distinguished Tennesseean, as was the ec- 
centric Davy Crockett who fell at the Alamo. 

Of the many Kentuckians who had aided 
the Texans, none perhaps, was more able, 
from a military standpoint, than Albert Sid- 

ney Johnston who, in later years, was to meet 
a soldier's honored death at the head of the 
Confederate army at Shiloh, in 1862. The 
sympathies of the people of this country were 
naturally with the struggling Texans, as was 
evidenced in the presidential election of 1844 
in which Mr. Polk had defeated Mr. Clay, the 
issue of the admission of Texas being largely 
considered. In 1845, recognizing the man- 
date of the people, congress passed a bill ad- 
mitting the vast territory of Texas to the Un- 
ion of states. There could be but one result 
following this action and that was war. 

Many in the northern and eastern states 
bitterly opposed the action of congress and the 
war which followed. They would have been 
equally in opposition had Mexico willingly 
consented to the acquisition of Texas by the 
United States. They had ever before them 
the specter of negro slavery, and were unal- 
terably opposed to the acquisition of addi- 
tional territory which would add to the po- 
litical pow-er of the south wdiere slavery pre- 
vailed. They were of those who are always 
most unreasonable and at times the most dan- 
gerous — the people of but one idea. Such 
people, be they right or be they wrong, are 
always fanatical and beyond the power of 
calm reason. They bitterly opposed the in- 
crease of southern territory, and, with equal 




bitterness, opposed the war with Mexico 
which speedily followed. Their day of tri- 
umph was in the near future, all unknown to 
them, yet they awaited its coming with but 
little of patience and less of judgment. 

In 1846, the expected war cloud burst upon 
the country. Gen. Zachary Taylor, a Ken- 
tuckian, under orders from the war depart- 
ment, concentrated the American troops at 
Corpus Christi, Texas, on the shores of the 
Gulf of Mexico, and held them ready for de- 
fense or aggression as circumstances might 

Col. \Vm. Preston Johnston, in his "Life of 
Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston," who' was his 
father, says of this period: "On the 8th of 
March, 1846, General Taylor made a forward 
movement to Point Isabel, which commanded 
the mouth of the Rio Grande. In spite of a 
protest and some acts of hostility committed 
by the IMexicans, a fortification was erected 
opposite Matamoras. Alexico, afterwards 
known as Fort Brown. On the 12th of April, 
General Ampudia addressed a letter to Gen- 
eral Taylor, requiring him to withdraw to the 
left bank of the Nueces, or 'that arms alone 
must decide the question.' A little later, the 
Mexicans captured Captain Thornton and 
sixty men and committed other overt acts of 
war, and finally threatened General Taylor's 
communications with Point Isabel, the base 
of supplies. To re-establish his communica- 
tions and secure his base, General Taylor 
marched, with his army, to Point Isabel, leav- 
ing a small but sufficient garrison in the fort. 
The Mexicans opened upon the fort with a 
heavy bombardment by which the comman- 
dant. Major Brown, was killed, but the garri- 
son held out until relieved by the successes of 
the American troops. 

"General Taylor started on his return from 
Point Isabel on May 7th, with 2,300 soldiers, 
and on the next day at noon, found the ]Mexi- 
can army, under General Ampudia, drawn up 
on the plain of Palo Alto to dispute his ad- 

vance. An engagement ensued in which the 
artillery acted a conspicuous part, ending in 
the retreat of the Mexican army with a loss 
of 6co men. The American loss was nine 
killed and fourteen wounded. 

"On the next day, the American army again 
encountered the Mexicans strongly posted in 
a shallow ravine called Resaca de la Palma. 
It was a hotly contested fight with 6,000 Mex- 
icans who showed a stout courage, but they 
were driven from the field with a loss of 
1. 000 men. The American loss was 100. The 
war had begim. 

"\'olunteers were called for and came pour- 
ing in from all quarters. The martial enthu- 
siasm of the people of the United States was 
only equalled by the imbecility of the govern- 
ment in its preparation for the conflict. It 
was a political regime merely, and in nowise 
adapted to organize or carry on a successful 
war; but the ability of the commanders and 
the splendid valor of the troops supplied all 
defects and made the Mexican war an heroic 
episode in our annals. General Taylor, having 
initiated the struggle by two brilliant victo- 
ries, was condemned to idleness until Septem- 
ber by the Carthaginian policy of the govern- 
ment which failed to supply stores, equipment 
;md transportation." 

It may be a matter of interest to know that 
Fort Brown, built by General Taylor on the 
Rio Grande opposite Matamoras, IMexico, 
was, in recent years, the post at which were 
stationed the negro troops who made a de- 
scent upon and "shot up" the town of Browns- 
ville, Texas; an incident wliich caused wide- 
spread excitement throughout the country. 
President Roosevelt ordered the dismissal 
from the army of the troops believed to be 
guilty, and for several years his energetic and 
very proper^action, gave opportunity for bit- 
ter attacks upon him by certain enemies in his 
own party. 

When the president issued his call for vol- 
unteers, Kentucky's quota was fixed at twen- 


Gen. Zachary Taylor 

From His Portrait in the Hall o{ Fame in the Kentucky State Historical Society 



ty-fonr hundred men. Her gallant sons re- 
sponded to the number of ten thousand men. 
Of course, not all of these could be accepted 
and there was a struggle for precedence. On 
the day following the call for volunteers. Col. 
Stephen Ormsby, of Jefferson county, ten- 
dered the services of the nine companies of 
the Louisville Legion, which he commanded. 
Nine days later, the regiment was en route to 
the front. The Second Kentucky Regiment 
of Infantry, commanded by Col. W. R. Mc- 
Kee. Lieutenant Colonel Henry Clay rthe 
splendid son of a great father), and Major 
Cary H. Fry, was accepted by the governor 
and speedily followed the First Regiment, the 
Louisville Legions, to the front. The First 
Regiment of Kentucky Cavalry was the 
third of the successful regiments to be ac- 
cepted, and ordered to proceed at once to the 
seat of war. This regiment had for its field 
officers Colonel Humphrey Marshall; lieuten- 
ant colonel, E. H. Field, and major, John P. 

Kentucky's promptness in filling to over- 
flowing the quota of volunteers called for by 
the president, did not escape attention at 
Washington. Gen. Zachary Taylor was pro- 
moted to a major general in the regular army; 
Gen. Wm. O. Butler was made major general 
of volunteers and Thomas !\Iarshall, a briga- 
dier general of volunteers. These were all 
Kentuckians. Capt. John S. Williams had 
organized a company immediately after the 
call was made, but through some error, this 
company was not accepted as a part of any of 
the three regiments ordered to the front. The 
war department specially accepted this com- 
pany which went to the front at once and 
afterwards rendered a good account of itself, 
especially at Cerro Gordo where Captain Will- 
iams by his spirited conduct, in the presence 
of the enemy, won the soubriquet of "Cerro 
Gordo Williams," by which he was ever after- 
wards known. 

The names of the company officers of the 

Louisville Legion are not available, but those 
of the Second Regiment of Infantry and the 
First Cavalry, are of interest as more than 
one of those who bore them, afterwards 
played prominent parts in the state. The cap- 
tains of the Second Regiment were Wm. H. 
Maxey, Franklin Chambers, Philip B. Thomp- 
son, Speed Smith Fry, George W. Cutter, 
William T. Willis, William Dougherty, Will- 
iam AI. Joyner, Wilkerson Turpin, and 
George W. Kavanaugh. The captains of the 
First Cavalry were \\'m. J. Heady, Aaron 
Pennington, Cassius ;M. Clay, Thomas F. 
-Alarshall, J. C. Stone, J. Price, G. L. Postle- 
thwaite, J. S. Lillard, John Shawhan and B. 
C. Milam. 

Of these men several afterwards came into 
wide prominence in the state. Philip B. 
Thompson of Mercer, was long considered 
among the first lawyers of Kentucky and was 
especially noted for his knowledge of the 
criminal laws and practice. Speed S. Fry was 
a brigadier general of United States volun- 
teers in the War Between the States and was 
credited with having fired the shot which 
killed the Confederate General, Felix K. Zol- 
licoft'er, at the battle of Mill Springs, Ken- 
tucky, in 1862. Cassius M. Clay, as has been 
already stated, became the apostle of emanci- 
pation in the state, a major general in the Un- 
ion army and minister to Russia. Thomas F. 
Marshall was long notable as the most bril- 
liant orator in a state noted for its oratory. 

Soon after the Louisville Legion had joined 
the army under General Taylor, an advance 
was made upon ^Monterey, which was de- 
fended by about ten thousand of the enemy 
who were well protected by natural obstacles. 
Against this force the American army could 
present but about 6,500 men. But there was 
no hesitation upon the part of General Taylor, 
whose men, following the habit of American 
soldiers to bestow additional names upon 
their commanders, had affectionately named 
"Old Rough and Ready." Whatever one may 



think of the appropriateness of the first part 
of this name, there was never a doubt that 
the gallant old soldier was ever ready when 
there was fighting to be done. At Monterey, 
he sent Generl Worth to gain the heights in 
the enemy's rear and from the point of van- 
tage thus gained, attack the works protecting 
the citv. General Taylor, to cover the move- 
ments of Worth, proposed to attack the enemy 
in his front. September 20th. Worth moved 
his forces in obedience to the orders of Gen- 
eral Taylor and succeeded in securing a posi- 
tion in the rear commanding the palace of the 
bishop of ^Monterey. Moving forward, he 
came upon a large force of the enemy whom 
he attacked with such vigor as to soon dis- 
lodge them, driving them before him and in- 
flicting heavy losses upon them. From the 
positions he thus gained he turned his artil- 
lery upon the palace. 

General Taylor, at the same time, began a 
vigorous attack upon the town from points 
below those occupied by General ^^'orth and 
the battle became general and very severe to 
each side. A portion of the advanced works 
of the enemy was carried by the Americans 
at the point of the bayonet and a foothold ob- 
tained in the town. This was the third day 
after the beginning of the movement, and on 
the following day the forces under General 
W'orth occupied the palace, while those under 
General Taylor occupied the lower part of 
the city from which the enemy had fled on the 
previous night. On the following day. Gen- 
eral Taylor pressed his troops forward, but 
advance was slow owing to the gallant resist- 
ance of the enemy. Step by step, however, he 
drove the Mexicans back until within near 
reach of the Plaza, or public square, which is 
found in every considerable town or city of 
Mexico. While General Taylor was fighting 
his way against stubborn resistance, General 
Worth was also advancing upon the enem}-. 
The partial success attending the movements 
of each wing of the American army induced 

General Taylor to prepare for a concentration 
of his forces with the view of storming the 
enemy in his last works on the following day. 
This movement never was made, for on the 
morning of the next day, before the general 
advance could be begun, the enemy sent a 
flag to General Taylor and the surrender of 
the city followed without further engagements. 
A splendid military position and great quan- 
tities of army stores was thus gained, but at 
the costly sacrifice of five hundred American 
soldiers killed and wounded. 

The Louisville Legion formed a part of the 
attacking forces and acquitted itself with 
honor to the army and the state whence it 

With headquarters established at Monterey, 
General Taylor pressed forward a portion of 
his troops occupying Saltillo and Pardo, while 
the ^Mexican army retreated to San Luis Po- 
tosi. In the meantime, General Santa Anna, 
who was perhaps the first of Mexican gen- 
erals of his day, had returned to his country, 
assuming not only the direction of the army 
but of the government as well. By December, 
1846, he had an army of 20,000 men, with 
which force he proposed to engage and crush 
the small force under General Taylor. The 
latter had been weakened by withdrawals, sent 
to join in a proposed attack on Vera Cruz. He 
was advised from Washington to withdraw 
from Monterey, as the small force left him 
was composed mostly of volunteers. In the 
face of this advice, the indomitable old sol- 
dier, who was too old to begin to run away 
from a fight, chose rather to go out and look 
for one. And he found it, too, at Buena Vista. 
Finding there a position which pleased him, 
he sat down to await a call from Santa Anna, 
having under his command but forty-seven 
hundred officers and men, while the IMexican 
forces numbered 20.000. 

The Louisville Legion was the only Ken- 
tucky organization in the' attack on Monte- 
rev, but soon afterwards the Second Ken- 



tucky Infantry and the First Kentucky Cav- 
alry, reached Monterey, and joined the forces 
of General Taylor. There were therefore 
three regiments of Kentucky present for duty 
when the little army marched out to defy 
Santa Anna and his twenty thousand. 

The Mexican general was not unaware of 
the withdrawal from General Taylor's force 
of most of the regulars who were sent to- 
wards Vera Cruz. He knew also that most of 
the men remaining under General Taylor's 
command were volunteers, only a few of 
whom had ever been under fire. To the wily 
Mexican general, the situation seemed full of 
promise, and he doubtless contemplated an 
easy victory. 

But the battle is not always to the strong, 
as was proven at Buena Vista. This latter was 
but a ranch village on the road to San Luis 
Potosi, and five miles from Saltillo, which 
latter had been occupied by the Americans 
after the battle of Monterey. On the road to 
Potosi, the mountains were on each side rising 
to great heights and enclosing a narrow val- 
ley. Three miles from Buena \''ista, the val- 
ley narrowed forming the- Pass of Angostura, 
and here the main battl