ENTUCKY is far from being a uniied region. Though known
I < as the Bluegrass State, it divides into three sections which
differ as sharply in geography, culture, economic activity, and social
habit as if they were widely separated areas. These are the Blue-
grass, the Eastern Mountains, and Western Kentucky. Each is popu-
lated by people who have adjusted themselves to their environment,
and who in the process have developed habits and attitudes differing
markedly from those of their fellows in the other divisions. Literature
concerning Kentucky often fails clearly to identify the section which
forms its locale, and readers unacquainted with local conditions are
apt to mistake a single section for the State as a whole.
Except for Louisville, Kentucky has no large industrial centers. Most
of its 2,900,000 people dwell in small rural communities. Like other
agrarian folk they bear the mark of their association with the soil. The
rural Kentuckian, whether clad in faded overalls or imported woolens,
is an individualist. The rustic lolling at the street corners of towns and
villages may give every evidence of being lost or out of place; but try
to get the better of him in a trade and often he will prove master of
the situation. He may be ragged, dirty, and ignorant, but he is still
endowed with something of the unawed self-reliance and resourceful
wit of the pioneer.
Wherever a Kentuckian may be, he is more than willing to boast of
the beauties and virtues of his native State. He believes without reser-
vation that Kentucky is the garden spot of the world, and is ready to
dispute with anyone who questions the claim. In his enthusiasm for his
State he compares with the Methodist preacher whom Timothy Flint
heard tell a congregation that "Heaven is a Kentucky of a place."
After describing the material and cultural well-being of the State, the
Kentuckian is likely to begin on its brilliant history. But, unless he is
engaged in historical research, the native son’s history of Kentucky does
not chiefly refer to the part played by the State in the westward expan-
sion of the Nation, to the frontier democracy established by pioneer