xt7s4m918z86 https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7s4m918z86/data/mets.xml Filson Club. 1892  books b92-46-26946267 English John P. Morton ; Robert Clarke, : Louisville, Ky. : Cincinnati : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Kentucky History.Durrett, Reuben T. (Reuben Thomas), 1824-1913. Stanton, Henry Thompson, 1834-1898. Centenary of Kentucky  : proceedings at the celebration by the Filson Club, Wednesday, June 1, 1892, of the one hundredth anniversary of the admission of Kentucky as an independent state into the Federal Union. text Centenary of Kentucky  : proceedings at the celebration by the Filson Club, Wednesday, June 1, 1892, of the one hundredth anniversary of the admission of Kentucky as an independent state into the Federal Union. 1892 2002 true xt7s4m918z86 section xt7s4m918z86 

The Centenary of Kentucky




       WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1, 1892

               OF THE




As an Independent State into the Federal Union



  COPYRIoHT, 1892




T       HE FILSON CLUB, at its meeting in June, I89I,
         determined to celebrate Wednesday, June I,
         I892, as the one hundredth anniversary of the
separation of Kentucky from Virginia, and its admission
into the Union as an independent state.  An executive
committee consisting of twelve members of the club was
appointed, and to them was given full authority to arrange
for such a celebration as they might think proper. This
committee consisted of-
      REUBEN T. DURRETT, . . Chairman.
      THOMAS SPEED,. .         Secretary.
      E. T. HALSEY,            On Finances.
      J. STODDARD JOHNSTON, . .    Addresses.
      RICHARD W. KNOTT, . .        Toasts.
      HORATIO W. BRUCE, .          Invitations.
      JOIiN B. CASTLEMAN, .        Reception.
      BASIL W. DUKE, .Banquet.
      ANDREW COWAN,      .         Transportation.
      WILLIAM H. WHITSETT, .       Correspondence.
      WILLIAM J. DAVIS, . .        Music.
      JAMES S. PIRTLE, .Publication.

The Kentucky Centenary.

    The committee at first contemplated the building of
a pioneer fort in one of the Louisville parks, and placing
in it for exhibition such mementoes of the time at which
Kentucky became an independent state as could be pro-
cured for this purpose by gift, loan, or purchase. It was
found, however, that such an exhibition would be attended
by heavier costs than it was deemed prudent to impose
upon the members of the club, and it was abandoned.
It was finally determined to limit the celebration to a
historical address, a poem, and a banquet, at which se-
lected toasts should be responded to by chosen speakers.
    In accordance with this simple programme, a goodly
number of the members of the club and of citizens who
were not members assembled at Macauley's Theater, at
ten o'clock in the morning. The stage was occupied by
venerable citizens who had passed or approached the
seventieth mile-stone in life's journey, and some of whose
long lives dated back almost to the birth of the state.
    Among these old citizens were Isaac R. Green (the
Nestor of the band, aged ninety-three), Jas. S. Lithgow,
Robt. J. Elliott, Americus Symmes, Dr. Thomas Bohannon,
Dr. John Thruston, Isaac L. Hyatt, Hamilton Pope, Chas.
S. Snead, Edwin Fullion, Patrick Bannon, L. D. Pearson,
Frank Carter, Neville Bullitt, Rev. J. H. Heywood, Rev.
E. T. Perkins, Rev. R. H. Rivers, Wm. D. Gallagher,

 Wednesday, ru xne I, 1892.


H. C. Caruth, Geo. W. Morris, Dr. E. A. Grant, Hon.
Chas. Anderson, Theodore Brown, etc.
    In front of the stage was placed Eichorn's orchestra,
with music selected and arranged for the occasion. After
a number of appropriate airs had been played during
the assembling of the audience, Colonel J. Stoddard
Johnston, the vice-president of the club, called upon Rev.
R. H. Rivers, a descendant by the mother's side from
Samuel Henderson, one of the founders of Boonsborough,
to open the proceedings with prayer.
    Dr. Rivers was assisted from his chair to the front
of the stage, and offered the following prayer:

                PRAYER OF DR. RIVERS.

    ",0, Lord, our Heavenly Father! we thank Thee for
this privilege of celebrating the one hundredth anniversary
of our existence as a state.  We bless Thee that the
Filson Club, prompted by patriotism and especially by
love for the great State of Kentucky, has determined to
celebrate in a proper manner this great anniversary. We
thank Thee for the number of young people assembled
with us on this occasion, so precious to every Kentuckian
and so inviting to all Christian people. We pray that
every thing may be conducted to Thy honor and glory.

 The Kentucky Centenary.

We pray that the deeds of our ancestors may be so
presented as to fire our hearts with the loftiest patriotism.
For such ancestors, so self-denying, so devoted to the
Dark and Bloody Ground, we adore Thee.      For the
Boones, the Calloways, the Hendersons, the Clarks, and
all the rest, reaching back one hundred years, we most
humbly and sincerely thank Thee. May we imitate their
virtues, honor their memories, and profit by their example.
Bless our great and growing state and all the other states
belonging to this great Union. Bless this occasion. Be
with Thy servant who shall carry us back to the historic
past. May the characters presented, the deeds described,
and the scenes pictured by him be a blessing to the
young, a joy to the aged, and a profit to all. May the
poetry written and which shall be spoken on this great
occasion be full of imagination and glow with the grand-
est and most patriotic thoughts.  We beg Thee, our
Father, to hear our prayer, bless our anniversary, prosper
our state, and increase the glory of this great occasion.
All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior.

    After the opening prayer by Dr. Rivers, and "Home,
Sweet Home" by the orchestra, Vice-President Johnston,
in introducing Reuben T. Durrett, the president of the

WedAesday, ju/une I, i892.


club, who had been chosen to make the historic address
of the occasion, spoke as follows:


    "LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:-We are met to-day to
commemorate the centennial of Kentucky's statehood.
    ",It has been well said that a people who have not
the pride to cherish and preserve the record and the
memory of the heroic deeds of their ancestors, will soon
cease to achieve deeds worthy of commemoration by their
posterity. From the earliest period in the world's history,
every nation which has filled one of its pages has been
animated by the laudable spirit which has brought us
here, and many which have ceased to exist still live in
the monuments which their national pride has left to the
wonder and admiration of posterity. The Filson Club,
which to-day marks this one-hundredth milestone in our
state's progress, is a historical society, founded in this
city in i884, for the collection, preservation, and publica-
tion of the history of Kentucky. Though but young, it
has done valuable service in the line of its purpose,
having already published six monographs upon subjects
of great interest touching our early history, besides ac-
cumulating much material of value to the future historian.

8           The Kentucky Centenaezy.

    "To the zeal and patriotic pride of Reuben T.
Durrett, the first and only president of the Filson Club,
Kentucky will ever be indebted for his laborious. efforts
to preserve in durable form the history and traditions of
the first grand epoch in the life of our beloved common-
wealth.  Most fitting is it that he should have been
selected by the society which I have the honor to rep-
resent to sum up in succinct form the deeds which we
are here to commemorate, and it is with peculiar pride
that I have the honor to present him to you, and to
bespeak for him your respectful attention."

 This page in the original text is blank.




_7=` 71,11-111-111-1--1-11---,--"--,-,-,.... --


          Wednesday, 7une         I, 1892.          9



O     NE hundred years ago Kentucky became an in-
         dependent state, and we have assembled, under
         the auspices of the Filson Club, for the pur-
pose of commemorating the event. As Kentuckians, we
naturally feel that our commonwealth deserves this con-
sideration; but there are others outside of Kentucky who
should have kindred feelings.  Kentucky has a history
not exclusively her own, but national as well as local.
She blazed the untried way by which her sister states
were to advance and form that network of sovereignties
stretching from the Ohio river to the Pacific ocean.
Under the lead of George Rogers Clark, the greatest
military man who ever commanded in the West, her
brave militia conquered that vast territory out of which
have been carved the glorious States of Illinois, Indiana,

 Most of the soldiers under General Clark, when he took Kas-

Io          The Kentucky Centenary.

Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and that part of Minnesota
on this side of the Mississippi. It was the persistence
of her sons for the freedom of the Mississippi river which
led to the purchase of Louisiana and the consequent
opening of the doors of the Republic for extended do-
main.   Her glorious     deeds   are  so   blended   with   our
national history that sixty millions of freemen, wherever
they may be in our broad land to-day, might well
partake of our feelings while we celebrate this one
hundredth anniversary of our statehood.

kaskia in 1778, were Virginians, and Kentucky was a part of Virginia.
While these soldiers, in strict historic language, may not be called
Kentucky militia at that date, yet many of them, though marching
from parts of the country other than Kentucky, like Edward Bulger,
James Brown, James Bryan, Joseph Bowman, John Boyle, Abram
Chaplain, Richard Chenowith, Thomas Denton, Leonard Helm, Silas
Harlan, Simon Kenton, Benjamin Lynn, Thomas Quirk, -and others,
had already selected lands in Kentucky for their future homes; and
manv others of them became citizens of Kentuckv after the fllinoiq
conquest. There were but few of Clark's volunteers when he began
the Illinois campaign who were not then or did not afterward become
citizens of Kentucky.  Their leader, General Clark, was already a
Kentuckian by acquiring lands here and making it -his home, and it
is not going too far to call his followers Kentuckians under such

Wednesday, 7une i, 1892.



    For one hundred and eighty-five years after the first
settlement at Jamestown, Kentucky was a part of Vir-
ginia, and during four-fifths of this long period was an
unknown land. The Virginians along the Atlantic slope
showed no early disposition to settle beyond the mount-
ains that walled them  in on the west.  They erected
their manor houses and built their tobacco barns on the
rich lands of rivers that flowed from the mountains to
the sea, and were content. What they had to sell the
ocean would bear to foreign marts, and what they wanted
to buy the same ocean would bring to their doors.
There were no known inducements in the unknown lands
beyond the mountains to entice them to the dangers and
the hardships of a wilderness filled with wild animals and
still wilder savages.
    But whether the Virginians would go to the discov-
ery of Kentucky or not, the country was so located
that to remain  unknown was impossible.  The great
Mississippi and the beautiful Ohio were upon its borders
for hundreds of miles, while their tributaries penetrated
thousands of miles within.  Upon these rivers hunters
and traders and adventurers were to paddle their canoes

The Kentucky Centenaky.

in spite of dangers, and the fair land of Kentucky could
not indefinitely escape their eyes.
    Two explorers of different nationalities, but in pursuit
of the same wild hope of a water way across the con-
tinent to the Pacific ocean, discovered Kentucky almost
at the same time. They were Captain Thomas Batts, a
Virginian, of whom nothing but this discovery is known,
and Robert Cavalier de la Salle, a distinguished French-
man, whose explorations in America made him known in
both hemispheres.


     In L727, Dr. Daniel Coxe published in London a
description of the Province of Carolana, which had been
given to Sir Robt. Heath by Charles First, in i630. It
extended from the thirty-first to the thirty-sixth degree of
north latitude, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean.
The predecessors of Dr. Coxe are represented in this
book as having made important explorations in their
provinces, and the statement is made that between the
years i654 and i664, a Colonel Wood, living at the Falls
of the James river, in Virginia, had discovered different
branches of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.  Colonel
Wood could hardly have discovered different branches

Wednesday, 7/une i, i892.

' 3

of the Ohio in the neighborhood of Carolana without
being in Kentucky, and if this statement is true, he was
probably the first white man who ever rambled through
the dark forests of this country. It is possible, however,
that Dr. Coxe has credited Colonel Wood with an ex-
ploration that was made by Captain Thomas Batts at a
little later date. In I67I, General Abraham  Wood, by
the authority of Governor Berkely, sent Captain Thomas
Batts with a party of explorers to the west of the Appa-
lachian mountains in search of a river that might lead
across the continent to China.   The journal of their
route is rendered obscure by meager descriptions and
the changes of the country and the names since it was
written, but it is possible that they went to the Roanoke
and ascending to its headwaters, crossed over to the
sources of the Kanawha, which they descended to its
falls.  Whether they wandered southward to the Big
Sandy and crossed over into Kentucky. we can not de-
termine from their journal; but whether they did so or
not, they were in that part of Virginia of which Ken-
tucky was a part, and their discoveries would open the
way to the one as well as to the other.

     Manuscript Journal of Captain Batts, i671. This journal was
published in the third volume of the "Documents Relative to the
Colonial History of New York," page 193. I have compared this

14         The Kentucky         Centenary.


    Less doubtfully connected with the discovery of
Kentucky is the name and fame of La Salle, one of the
greatest explorers of the seventeenth century. He was
born in the old city of Rouen in i643, and at the age
of twenty-three came to America to devote his great
enthusiasm and indomitable energy to the solution of
the problem of a transcontinental river running toward
China. Columbus had crossed the Atlantic a century and
three-quarters before with the belief that he had found
India, and when this delusion had faded before the light
of actual discovery, the continent of North America was
still believed to contain a great river running across to
the Pacific ocean. La Salle had strong hopes of finding
this river, and in 1669 some Seneca Indians hastened
his plans by telling him that there was a river that rose
in their country and wound iLs way southward and west-
ward to the distant sea. This was evidently extending
the Alleghany, the Ohio, and the Mississippi into one
grand river, and it so fired the imagination of Sa Salle
that he at once began preparations to explore it. He

publication with my manuscript copy and found them to be essentially
the same.

Wednesday, 7une i, I892.

I 5

entered the Alleghany by a tributary near its source,
and followed it and the Ohio through the wild forests
on their banks until he reached the falls where Louisville
now stands. In making this long journey, he was the
discoverer 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 Bluegrass
land, which forms the garden spot of the state. He had

     In 18o8, while digging the foundation of the Tarascon Mill in
that part of Louisville known as Shipping Port, an iron ax was found
under the center of a sycamore, the trunk of which was six feet in
diameter, and the roots of which extended for forty feet in every
direction. The ax was made by bending a flat bar of iron over a
cylinder to make a hole for the handle in one end, and then welding
the two sides together and hammering them to a cutting edge.   It
could not have been placed where it was found after the tree grew,
and must, therefore, have fallen there about the time of the seed
from which the tree grew over it. The annulations of the tree were
counted and found to he two hundred, wdhich, according iU the then
mode of computation, made the tree two hundred years old.   It is
known, however, that the sycamore will in some years show more
than one annulation and thus indicate more than one year's growth;
and if we allow one-third of these two hundred annulations to have
been produced in that way, we shall have this tree to have begun
its growth about the time that La Salle was at the falls. Of course,
any Indian might have brought this ax from the white settlements in
Canada or on the Atlantic; but so might La Salle have brought it


i 6          The Kentucky Centenary.

not reached China, nor sailed upon a river that led
thereto, but he had discovered a country whose fame in
after years would even extend to the Celestial Empire.
He had made a discovery upon which France would
found a claim to the valley of the Mississippi and con-
tend for it against England in a mighty war that would
not only involve America, but Europe as well.

there and left it when he was at the falls, probably in i669 or 1670.
The Indians who had accompanied La Salle as guides deserted him
at the falls, and he was left to make his way back home alone.
Under such circumstances, he would naturally divest himself of every
incumbrance not absolutely necessary to his homeward journey, and
might have left this ax as well as any other article.  At the point
where the ax was found there is a beautiful view of the rapids, and
especially of that part just above Goose Island where, when the river
is low, there is a cataract or perpendicular fall of eight feet, or at
least there was a few years ago, before the United States began
changing the channel of the river. Possibly, La Salle, standing at
this point and looking north-westwardly above Goose Island, saw this
fall or cataract, and spoke of it as a great fall. His words are that:
"II la suivit jusqu'a un endroit ou elle tombe de fort haut."  That
is to say, he followed the Ohio river until he came to a place where
it fell from a great height-where there was a great fall.  Possibly,
La Salle, with his wonderfully observant eye, discovered that the Ohio
made a fall of more than twenty feet in passing over the rapids; but
the best that can be said of his calling the rapids a "tombe de fort
haut" is that he used very unallowable words.

Wednesday, 7une z, 1892.


                  OTHER DISCOVERIES.

    Other discoveries followed those of La Salle and
Batts, but besides being doubtful, like that attributed to
Moscoso in I543, and to the twenty-three Spaniards in
i669, and to John Salling in 1730, they added nothing
to the knowledge of the country, until toward the middle
of the eighteenth century. France and England at this
time seem to have simultaneously resolved to make a
supreme struggle for the sovereignty of their discoveries
in the Mississippi valley.  Both of these great powers
claimed that their titles were perfect, but neither paid
the least regard to the claim of the other.


    The peace of Aix la Chapelle, in 1748, left the
boundaries, of France and England in America as unde-
termined as they were when the war for the succession
began.  France claimed an empire in America that a
king might well have coveted.   From  the founding of
Quebec by Champlain, in i6o8, she had pushed her
acquisitions westwardly and southwardly for a stupendous
extent of territory. She had followed the St. Lawrence

The Kentucky Centenary.

to the lakes, and progressed along these inland seas
until she had reached a branch of the Mississippi. In
i682, she had gone down this mighty river to its mouth,
and was now claimant of all the lands in North America
watered by the St. Lawrence and Mississippi and their
countless tributaries.  Her domain extended from  the
warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the eternal ice
fields of Canada, and from the crest of the Appalachian
mountains on the east to the fabled Quivera on the west.
In the great rivers St. Lawrence and Mississippi, she
held the keys of the continent, and she was building
forts along its lakes and principal rivers for the purpose
of locking out the rest of the world from her possessions.
There was the ominous fact, seemingly unobserved by
her, that after a hundred and forty years of rule, from
her first settlement at Quebec, she had not been able
to seat a hundred thousand inhabitants in this boundless
empire.  Such a number was hardly equal to the hold-
ing of such a domain; but few as they were, they were
united in their determination to hold the country, and
could be made marvelously effective in defense. Gallisso-
niere, the governor, with his court upon the barren rock
of Quebec, mimicked as well as he could the splendors
of Versailles, and the inhabitants of New France knew
nothing but to honor and obey his commands.    Many

Wednesday, _7une i, 1892.


of the Indians, moreover, were friendly to the French,
and with the scalping-knives and tomakawks of numerous
tribes of savages, the few French fusils that could be
mustered might be many times multiplied.


    While France was claiming this vast empire, and
building forts and hiring savages to defend it, the Vir-
ginians were not unmindful of the claim they had to
a part of it by their charter from  King James.  This
charter gave them a frontage of four hundred miles on
the Atlantic ocean, and all -the land between a southern
line drawn westwardly and a northern line drawn north-
westwardly through the continent to the Pacific ocean.
On these lands the French had already built and fortified
Kaskaskia and Fort Chartres, and Cahokia and Vincennes
and Detroit, and were preparing to build and fortify
other places. They had driven the English traders away,
and buried leaden plates at the mouths of the rivers
along the Ohio, as evidence of their claim to the
country. There was enough of the foreshadowing of war
in these movements of the seemingly complaisant and
cordial French, who were chasseing and bowing over the
the country while really at war, to arouse the fighting

20          The Kentucky        Centenary.

cavaliers of Virginia from a slumber which two centuries
of antagonistic discoveries had not been able to disturb.
On that part of Virginia which sloped eastwardly from
the mountains to the Atlantic were one hundred and sev-
enty-five thousand freemen and one hundred and twenty-
five thousand slaves, and of this number they thought
enough could be spared to plant colonies in the Missis-
sippi valley that would drive out the French and keep
them out. It was only a question with the Virginians
as to how this population was to be seated on the lands
claimed by the French, and how it could be most
speedily accomplished.  They solved  this question in
their own way, according to precedents hoary with age,
and decided to utilize powerful companies, to which the
public lands should be given as a consideration for the
speedy seating of occupants. A number of these land
companies were formed, but as only two of them, the
Loyal Company and the Ohio Company, are particularly
connected with Kentucky history, they alone need be
mentioned on this occasion.

Wednesday, June i, i892.

2 1

                 MENT IN KENTUCKY.

    At a meeting of the Virginia Council, July I 2, 1749,
the Loyal Company was authorized to enter and survey
eight hundred thousand acres of the public lands of
Virginia for the purpose of seating families upon them.
The lands were to be located north of the dividing line
between Virginia and North Carolina, and were to extend
to the west for their quantity.  The company was to
begin at once to locate its lands and settle occupants
upon them, and was to have four years to make its
surveys and returns.  Dr. Thomas Walker, one of the
most learned and accomplished men of his times, was
chosen by the company to locate its lands.   He at
once organized a company of explorers, consisting of
himself and five others.  None of the names of his
assistants have been preserved in his journal, except
Ambrose Powell, Colby Chew, and a man named Tom-
linson. On the i6th of March, 1750, they began their
journey toward the line which then divided Virginia from
North Carolina. They went up a branch of the Roanoke
and crossed over to the Holston, which they descended
to its forks.  They then directed their course across

22           The Kentucky Cenfenauy.

Clinch and Powell rivers, and entered Kentucky through
Cumberland Gap. They then went up Cumberland river,
near to where the city of Barbourville now stands, and
on the north-west side of the river, a little above what
is now known as Swan Pond, selected the site of a
house to be erected as the head-quarters of their settle-
ment.   Here   a piece of land     was cleared, and    a log-
house twelve by eight feet built, and corn and peach
stones planted.   The house was finished on the 25th of
April, 1750, and a settlement was thus begun in the
wilderness of Kentucky. This was the first house ever
built in the state by white men, with the possible excep-
tion of some cabins by the French and Indians at the
mouth of the Scioto, when a great flood drove them
from the lowlands on the Ohio side to the highlands on
the Kentucky side of the river. It was twenty-four years

     Journal of an Exploration in the Spring of the year I750, by
Dr. Thomas Walker, of Virginia. This journal remained in manuscript
until i888, when a limited edition of it, edited by William Cabell
Rives, a descendant of Dr. Walker, was published by Little, Brown 
Co., of Boston. There is an unfortunate omission of ten days of the
journal in the publication, and this omission, yet more unfortunately
for Kentuckians, occurs just at the time he entered the state through
Cumberland Gap.   Singularly enough, I have a manuscript copy of
this journal in which the same omission occurs.

Wednesday, Jzfne i, I892.


before a cabin was erected at Harrodsburg or anywhere
else in the state by the early settlers.  Our historians
have failed to mention this first settlement in Kentucky,
but it was not overlooked by the geographers of its day.
It was laid down upon all the maps of the country after
1750, and so continued until the beginning of the present
century.  No place was more conspicuous on the early
maps of the country than this settlement of Walker on
the Cumberland.
    The Loyal Company was not fortunate in the time
at which its settlement was begun. Before its land could
be located and surveyed and occupied by the settlers,
the French and Indian War was upon them, and delayed
their undertaking until the peace of 1763.  Then the
king's proclamation, forbidding settlements on lands be-
yond the sources of rivers that entered the Atlantic
ocean, delayed them for another ten years. And finally
the Revolutionary War arrested this, as it did all other
enterprises of the kind thar were in progress when hos-
tilities began.  At the October session of the Virginia
legislature, in 1778, the petition of Dr. Walker in behalf
of his company was acted upon, when it was shown that
the company had surveyed 201,554 acres of their grant,
and left unsurveyed 598,446 acres.  Of the lands sur-

24          The Kentucky Centenary.

veyed, the company was allowed to complete their title
to 45,390 acres only.

                   THE OHIO COMPANY.

     Soon after Dr. Walker, in behalf of the Loyal Com-
pany, had passed through Eastern Kentucky from south
to north, he was followed by Christopher Gist,+ who, in
behalf of the Ohio Company, traversed Central Kentucky
from west to east. The Ohio Company was authorized
by the home government to select five hundred thousand
acres of land on both sides of the Ohio river, for the
purpose of settling families upon them. Gist was sent
out by this company to select these lands, and in his
explorations he entered Kentucky at the mouth of the
Scioto, March    13, I751.    He    made   his  way   to  the

     Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of
Virginia, October Session, 1778.
    w A Journal of Chiristupiher Gist's journey, I75051.  I have a
manuscript copy of this journal, and also Pownall's "Topographical
Description of North America," published at London in 1776, in which
it appears.  I have never seen it elsewhere.  Gist evidently went
through Kentucky with his compass, as he gives the courses and dis-
tances of his route. It differs very widely from Walker's journal in
this particular, there being nothing in the journal of Walker to indicate
that he had a compass with him.

          Wednesday, 7une I, i892.                  25

Licking river, which he ascended, and then crossed the
headwaters of the Kentucky river, and went out of the
state where Dr. Walker had entered it. In his wander-
ings from west to east, he saw some of the best as well
as some of the worst land. This company located two
hundred thousand acres upon the Licking river, but be-
fore families could be settled upon them, the French and
Indian War and the king's proclamation and the Revo-
lutionary War arrested their enterprise, as they had that
of the Loyal Company. When they finally appealed to
the legislature for titles to their land, they stood before
a new race of law-makers, and were shorn of the profits
of their costly undertaking, as the Loyal Company had
    While, however, neither the Loyal nor the Ohio
Company had been a financial success, and neither had
peopled the Mississippi valley with inhabitants to drive
off and keep away the French, both had contributed to
the opening of the way to the settlement of Kentucky.
In behalf of their respective companies, Walker and Gist
had gone beyond the forbidding mountains that frowned
like an impassable wall on the west of inhabited Virginia,
and had seen the inviting country beyond, that had not
been seen before.  They had kept journals of their
routes, and could verify all that had passed before their


The Kentucky Cen/enary.

watchful eyes. They had seen Kentucky as it came from
the Creator's hands, in all its wild splendors of soil and
tree and stream. And what a grand sight it was! Let
us, in imagination, go back one hundred and forty-two
years, and look upon Kentucky as Walker and Gist saw
it, In 1750-51.


    From the summit of the Appalachian mountains on
the east, declivities lead down two thousand feet to a
plateau that gracefully undulates for five hundred miles
to the margins of the Ohio and the Mississippi rivers
on the west.   Descending through deep cut channels
from their mountain springs, the Sandy, the Licking, the
Kentucky, the Salt, the Green, and the Cumberland rivers
roll their navigable waters for hundreds of miles through
soils as exhuberant as the famous delta of the Nile.
Over an area that millions might inhabit, of mountain
and hill and plain and valley, stands a dark forest of
oak and beech and ash and hickory and walnut and
cherry and maple and sycamore and linden and cedar and
pine, with lofty poplars towering above like hoary senti-
nels of the centuries that have marked their growth.
Here and there, where the trees of the forest cast not