1700s | Kentucky Timeline

180 Million years ago, during the Mesozoic Era, “The Breaks” in an area now lying across Kentucky and Virginia, a vast inland sea receded, leaving in its wake a veritable cradle of botany.  Meanwhile the river that is now Russell Fork got about the work of carving out an immense, spectacular gorge, renowned as the largest east of the Mississippi. 

 

12,000 – 8,000 B.C., the first Native Americans to call Kentucky home, the Paleoindians, moved into Kentucky.  The Clovis people were the very first Paleoindians.  Clovis people settled first in Western Kentucky in areas that bordered significant rivers.  Over time, as the population increased, bands moved eastward into new territories.  Clovis people settled last in the Eastern Kentucky Mountains.  By 8,000 years ago, at the start of the Archaic Period, people lived all across Kentucky, their permanent home.

 

1540, the earliest known contact with Europeans occurred when a Cherokee warriors party successfully defended their northwestern border against the advances of Hernando DeSoto and his Spanish soldiers.  They forced the Spanish to retreat from Kentucky to the north side of the Ohio River at present-day Fort Massac, Illinois.

 

The 1557 Portuguese narrative of DeSoto’s expedition claims that Cherokee comes from the written as chalaque, derived from the Choctaw word, choluk, which means cave.  Mohawk calls the Cherokee oyata’ge’ronoñ, which means people who live in caves or cave countries.  In Catawba, the Cherokee is called mañterañ, which translates as the people who come out of the ground.  Kentucky is a land of caves and home to the longest cave in the world.

October 18, 1748, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ended King George's War, but failed to resolve any outstanding territorial issues.

The Watauga Association was organized in North Carolina with Colonel Richard Henderson, the chief proprietor.  As a result, Boonesborough Fort was established and the foundation of the Transylvania Colony laid. 
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:15

In 1774 parties of surveyors and hunters continued to enter the region.  James Harrod erected a log cabin upon the spot where Harrodsburg now stands.  It rapidly grew into a station, making it one of the oldest, if not the most senior, established community n Kentucky. 

 

April 19, 1774, Lexington first appears in a written record when Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia, signed a military warrant for 200 acres near the head of the middle fork of Elkhorn to Sergeant James Buford for services in the French and Indian War. 
The History of Pioneer Lexington, 1779-1806 By Charles R. Staples; pg:9

 

June 16, 1774, Fort Harrod, Kentucky's first white settlement, became established.  James Harrod led 30-37 men down the Ohio River, then up the Kentucky River, to Landing Run Creek.  They then traveled overland until they crossed the Salt River to a large spring in present-day Harrodsburg in Mercer County.  They erected cabins and surveyed one acre in lots and 10 acres out lots that became their new town's footprint.  Fort Harrod is also referred to as Harrod's Town or Oldtown.

 

June 27, 1774, Boone set forth on his mission to reach the new settlement of Harrodsburg.  He arrived by  the following month. 

 

July 1, 1774, Thomas Hanson succinctly captured the essence of the Bluegrass Country in his journal entry describing the vicinity of Elkhorn Creek: “All the land we passed over today is like a Paradise it is so good & beautiful.”

 

July 8, 1774, two men under James Harrod’s leadership at Oldtown were killed by a Shawnee attacked when a small group was surveying the Fontainbleau Spring area.  The others escaped back to the Salt River camp, three miles away.
History of Kentucky by Lewis Collins and Richard H. Collins

 

July 10, 1774, James Harrod and his entire company left Oldtown for safer grounds, the Native American attacks were taking a toll on everyday living.
History of Kentucky by Lewis Collins, Richard H. Collins

 

August 27, 1774, Richard Henderson organized the Louisa Company for the purpose of purchasing a “large territory or tract of land on the western waters from the Indian tribes” and establishing a proprietary colony.

 

October 10, 1774, The Battle of Point Pleasant — known as the Battle of Kanawha in some older accounts — was the only significant action of Dunmore’s War.  As a result of successive attacks by Native Americans upon the settlers, war ensued.  It was fought primarily between the Virginia militia and the Shawnee and Mingo tribes.  The Battle of Point Pleasant forced Cornstalk to make peace in the Treaty of Camp Charlotte, ceding to Virginia the Shawnee claims to all lands south of the Ohio River (today’s states of Kentucky and West Virginia).

The year 1775 saw an influx of settlers to this section.  The new arrivals came from Virginia and North Carolina, and Harrodsburg received its quota.  A number, it is said, clustered around Harrod's old cabin, the rising settlement.  This year too, saw a commencement made in erecting the Fort, which increasing numbers and the ever-present menace of the Native Americans rendered a necessity.  It is said that on the arrival of the pioneers in the previous year, a temporary fort or shelter was established, but I have found no mention of this anywhere, and it may be merely a matter of tradition. 

 

January 6, 1775, Henderson reorganized the Louisa Company, adding new members and forming the Transylvania Company, with an agreement outlining the form of government the new colony would take.  Henderson commissioned Daniel Boone to begin land purchase negotiations with the Cherokee Nation.

 

February 24, 1775, NC Governor Martin's proclamation quoted at length from the Royal Proclamation of 1763, particularly from that portion prohibiting the purchase of land from the Indians, by private persons, in those areas reserved for the Indians.  This proclamation was aimed at Richard Henderson and Transylvania. 

 

March 10, 1775, Daniel Boone and Michael Stoner set out to blaze a trail through the Cumberland Gap for the Transylvania Company from Fort Chiswell in Virginia into central Kentucke.  With the aid of 35 axmen, they cleared a path that became the Wilderness Road, the principal route used by settlers for more than 50 years to reach Kentucky from the east.

 

March 11-15,1775, settlers returned to James Harrod’s settlement and it was continuously occupied from that point on.  Many of the 50 men who came back were the same members of Harrod’s expedition the previous year.

 

March 17, 1775, the Transylvania Purchase, aka The Treaty of Sycamore Shoals, the largest private or corporate real estate transaction in United States history, took place.  The Transylvania Company purchased from the Cherokee over 20 million acres of land-all the Cumberland River watershed lands and extending to the Kentucky River.  In return, the Cherokee received 2000 pounds sterling and goods worth 8,000 pounds.  Twelve-hundred Native Americans reputedly spent weeks in counsel at Sycamore Shoals before signing the deed; Chief Dragging Canoe was firmly against deeding land to the whites, but the other chiefs ignored his warnings and signed the deeds amidst lavish ceremony and celebration.

 

March 25, 1775, unconscious of danger while lying asleep in a camp at a point in Madison County, about 15 miles south of the future Boonesborough, Native Americans attacked before dawn.  Captain Twitty and his Negro servant Sam were mortally wounded.  Captain Boone rallied his men and held ground till day break.

 

March 27, 1775, possibly the same Native American party who attacked Captain Twitty two days earlier, attacked six of Boone’s men who camped nearby.  Two more settlers died and three wounded.  Because of this attack and the severe injuries to Captain Twitty, they constructed a temporary log shelter as a protective defensive position for the rest of the party.  Within a few days, Twitty died and they buried him along with Sam, his servant, at the site.  The temporary structure became known as “Twitty’s Fort” or “The Little Fort” and continued to exist for many years.

 

April 1, 1775, the construction of Kentucky’s first permanent fort began.  This fort eventually became the town of Boonesborough.  Richard Henderson, who had initially hired Boone to open the trail, was alarmed at the numerous Native American attacks.  However, after receiving a determined letter from Boone, Henderson joined the party at Boonesborough a few weeks later.

April 19, 1775, the American Revolution begins.

 

April 23, 1775, Henderson called for an election for members to the “House of Delegates of the Transylvania Colony.”

 

May 1, 1775, Benjamin Logan arrived in Kentucky with a survey party led by John Floyd and erected “a little town,” they named St. Asaph’s.  Logan built a cabin and planted a crop of corn, which he would later use as proof to make his claim to 400 acres and a preemption for 1,000 acres, despite returning to Virginia and not returning until March 1776 with his family.

 

May 3, 1775, Captain John Floyd arrived at Boonesborough from a camp on Dick’s River where he left 30 men.  He was a surveyor of Fincastle County under Colonel Preston, a rival jurisdiction. 
History of Kentucky by Zachariah Frederick Smith

 

May 7, 1775, Boone had traveled into the woods trying to find a stray horse.  He had stayed all night and upon his return he found Captain Harrod and Colonel Slaughter from Harrodstown on the Salt River.  The men were of great mood. 
History of Kentucky by Zachariah Frederick Smith

 

May 8, 1775, the Henderson settlement officially became Transylvania with Boonesborough as its capital. 

 

May 23, 1775, the first Transylvania Convention opened at Fort Boonesborough.  The elected representatives were from Harrodsburg, Boiling Springs, St. Asaph and Boonesborough.  In only four days the legislatures passed nine laws: addressing a court system, regulation of a militia, prohibition of swearing and Sabbath-breaking, rules for the payment of debts, clerk’s and sheriff’s fees, improvement of horse breeding and game preservation.  These laws reflected the settlers dependence on game for food, good horses and an ever-ready militia for defense against Native Americans.  The governments of VA, NC and James Harrod immediately denounced the Transylvania Company as land pirates.  The Transylvania government, with Harrodsburg as its capitol, was to be short-lived.

 

May 27, 1775, the convention finished in good order. 
History of Kentucky by Zachariah Frederick Smith

 

Sunday, May 28, 1775, Boonesborough hosted the first recorded public worship service in Kentucky.  It was conducted by the Anglican Church, Episcopalian clergyman, the Rev. John Lyth.  The service closed the first legislative session west of the Alleghany Mountains: “The Transylvania Convention.”

 

May 29, 1775, Richard Henderson’s journal stated that a letter arrived at Boonesboro containing news of the battle near Boston.  

 

May 1775, Simon Kenton and Thomas Williams land at the mouth of the Limestone Creek (now Maysville).  Two or three miles from the river they find an abundance of cane, like never seen before.  They clear a patch to plant corn and this location is eventually called Kenton's Station, three miles from Maysville. 

 

June 4/5 1775, a group of eight hunters and or explores from Harrod’s Fort came to Central Kentucky to establish a settlement north of the Kentucky River.  They camped at a large spring, later known as McConnell’s Spring, which was and still is located on today’s Manchester Street, in downtown Lexington.  The camp had received word that America had won the first battle of the American Revolution.  This first battle was fought near Lexington, Massachusetts and they were so inspired, they decided to name the place they were camping and the settlement they were planning “Lexington.”  A small cabin was built by William McConnell, but due to Native Americans’ threats no settlement was made and the party returned to the safety of Fort Harrod.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:15 

 

June 13, 1775, With the main fort nearly finished, Boone set out to Snody's Station in Virginia to bring his family back to Boonesborough.  He was accompanied along the way by Richard Callaway, who was returning to the settlement for the same purpose. Thomas Hart also was in attendance. 

 

June 14, 1775, at the insistence of Judge Henderson the first fortified camp ever built in Kentucky was christened “Boonesborough.” 

 

September 25, 1775, the proprietors of Transylvania met in Granville County, North Carolina, and elected James Hogg to represent them in the Continental Congress in seeking recognition as the fourteenth colony.  The Continental Congress, however, failed to grant Transylvania its independence. 

 

October 1775, Colonel Calloway arrived at Fort Boonesborough along with his wife and several daughters. 

 

October 1775, William McConnell, Francis McConnell, David Perry, John McClelland, Robert Patterson and others set out from Fort Pitt in Pennsylvania.  Supplies were packed into canoes; the men went by land, driving nine horses and fourteen head of cattle, the first importation of either into Kentucky. 
The Founding of Lexington 1775-1776 by Carolyn Murray Wooley; pg:18

1776, Leestown, one mile below Frankfort is established and named in honor of John McClellan. 

 

April 1776, Native Americans attacked the village of Leestown killing Willis Lee and wounding Cryus McCracken.  The town was abandoned and the survivors fled to Fort Harrod.

 

May 23, 1776, Fort Boonesborough was attacked for the first time.  Native Americans attacked, killing two white boys; one white man survived the attack.

 

June 6, 1776, a meeting held in Fort Harrod elected George Rogers Clark and Gabriel John Jones to persuade the Virginia legislature to create a new county from Virginia’s extensive land holdings.

 

 July 7, 1776, Boonesborough – Jemima Boone (Boone’s 2nd daughter), Francis “Fanny” and Elizabeth “Betsy” Callaway were captured by the Shawnee, they made their escape by canoe.  They were rescued by Boone and his party two days later.

 

August 7, 1776, the first recorded marriage in Kentucky took place at Fort Boonesborough.  Elizabeth (Betsy) Callaway married Samuel Henderson.  Squire Boone performed the ceremony, a Baptist elder and an accomplished Native American fighter.  Samuel Henderson had been a member of Daniel Boone’s rescue party and had rescued his bride, her sister and Jermima Boone from the Native Americans, three weeks earlier.  As was customary at such frontier celebrations, there was much fiddle music and dancing and the excellent banter that accompanied such events.  One of the features of the celebration of this wedding was treating the guests to home-grown watermelon, the first grown at the Boonesborough settlement and of which the entire colony was very proud.
Patriarch of the Aerican Frontier by Donald Durbin, Jr.

 

December 1, 1776, two years after the first settlement at Harrodsburg, the Virginia Legislature divided all the territory west of the mountains, known as Fincastle County into Washington, Montgomery, and Kentucky Counties.  Harrodsburg was the first county seat of Kentucky County.  The territory was essentially the same boundary as the state is today.  Virginia voided the Transylvania Purchase but also compensated Richard Henderson with 200,000 acres in the region of what is now Henderson County.  Henderson’s dream of creating an independent colony ended.

 

December 25, 1776, McClelland’s Fort at Royal Springs; a party of settlers led by John Todd engaged in battle with a party of Mingo.  Todd lost four men killed or captured.

 

December 29, 1776, McClelland’s Fort in Georgetown was attacked by The Mingo (roughly 30-50 men) led by Chief Pluggy who died.  John McClelland and Charles White also died.  McClelland’s Fort (Royal Spring) was abandoned and the men returned to Harrodsburg.  The only forts in Kentucky after this were St. Asaph (Stanford) and Boonesborough.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:15

By 1777, 300 people had left Kentucky, and seven stations abandoned due to Native American raids.  All settlements in Kentucky except Boonesborough, Harrodsburg and Logan’s Fort were abandoned for fear of attacks.  1777 was referred to by the early settlers as the “Three Bloody Sevens” or the “The Bloody Year of Three Sevens.”  Native American attacks were frequent and extremely violent.  They regularly set fire to the Fort Harrod, stole all the horses, ate, stole or burned all of the crops.  They scalped the pioneers, dead or alive. 

 

January 30, 1777, Fort Harrod is reinforced by the arrival of George Rogers Clark, McClellands, Robert Patterson, Captain Edward Worthington, Robert Todd and others and with their families.  They had traveled from McClellands’ Fort in Georgetown where they had been attacked and were assured of more to come.
Historical Sketches of Kentucky: History of Kentucky, Volume 2 by Lewis Collins

 

February 1777, Logan’s Fort was completed by Benjamin Logan and friends.  The founders spent a great deal of time traveling between Fort Harrod and their new fort until completed. Logan’s Station provided a refuge for families making their way west to lands in Kentucky County, VA.  The fort is also referred to as Logan’s Station, St. Asaph, or Fort Logan.  It was one of the three oldest settlements in Kentucky, along with Fort Harrod and Fort Boonesborough.  From this fort came the town of Stanford, just a bit to the east, becoming one of the state’s oldest towns.

 

Sometimes up to 19 single men lived in the fort, along with seven families.  When danger from Native Americans brewed, settlers returned to the fort for protection.  Lincoln County held courts at Logan’s Fort from 1781-83.  Notable events at the fort were Daniel Boone’s court-martial and James Harrod’s marriage to Ann McDonald.  By 1780, most of the families had permanently left the fort, according to McBride.  “Documents suggest a possible house there in 1820, probably another house by the 1850s, and the one standing today.  An additional complication was that the L&N railroad put a track through the site in the 1860s.

 

March 6th, 1777, Thomas Shores and William Ray Killed at the Shawnee Spring.

 

March 7, 1777, the Native Americans attempted to cut off from the Fort a small party of men - a skirmish ensued.  We had four men wounded and some cattle killed.  We killed and scalped one Indian and wounded several.

 

March 8, 1777, the warriors set fires to isolated cabins at Fort Harrod to draw the settlers out.  The settlers fought their way through the woods, and made it to the fort with four settlers wounded and one killed.

 

March 18, 1777, Hugh Wilson was killed by Native Americans at Fort Harrod. 
Historical Sketches of Kentucky: History of Kentucky, Volume 2 by Lewis Collins

 

March 28, 1777, Shawnee Chief Blackfish attacks the fort directly again, killing two men.  Blackfish kept his forces around to harass the fort until at least May 6.

 

April 15, 1777, Fort Boonesborough was attacked by Native Americans.  The defense was led by Daniel Boone and Richard Calloway.

 

April 19, 1777, the first marriage in Harrodsburg took place and the second in Kentucky County. James Berry married widow Wilson. 
Historical Sketches of Kentucky: History of Kentucky, Volume 2 by Lewis Collins

 

May 20, 1777, Logan’s Fort was attacked by Native Americans who were supported by British troops and a 13-day siege began. The fort was sheltering seven families, including Benjamin Logan and William Whitley, six single men, a free African American and the rest women. The Siege left two men dead, but the fort survived. 

 

June 22, 1777, John Barney Stagger was murdered by Native Americans above Fort Harrod’s big spring about a half a mile from the fort.  His head was cut off and placed on a pole. 
Historical Sketches of Kentucky: History of Kentucky, Volume 2 by Lewis Collins

 

July 4, 1777, Fort Boonesborough was subjected to the heaviest and most serious attack.  With a force of 200 warriors, British Chief Black Fish surrounded the fort and began to attack.  Daniel Boone and his garrison had discovered the attack force and had warned the settlement well in advance.  Constant firing against the stockade and repeated attempts to set fire to the fort by fire arrows and torches thrown over the stockade kept the citizens at the portholes continually.  Women and girls molded bullets, loaded spare rifles, cooked and distributed food, rationed water and attended children and livestock without rest.  During this attack, the Native Americans destroyed the remaining crops near the fort.  On the morning of July 6, the Native Americans, discouraged by their failure, withdrew before daylight taking with them their seven dead and several wounded warriors.  The garrison lost one man and two were injured. 
A History of the Daniel Boone National Forest, 1770-1970 by Robert F. Collins, United States. Forest Service

 

August 9, 1777, pioneers surrounded 10 or 12 Native Americans near Fort Harrod.  They killed three and wounded others, the plunder sold for upwards of seventy pounds.

 

September 2, 1777, Kentucky’s first official court session took place in Fort Harrod.  The elected judges were: John Bowman, Richard Callaway, John Floyd, John Todd and Benjamin Logan, who also served as the Sheriff.  John May was official surveyor and Levi Todd was a clerk.  The court took a census at Fort Harrod: 81 Arms bearing men, including four unfit for service, 28 Women, 70 Children, including 12 under the age of 10, 19 Slaves, including seven under the age of 10.  The total population of Harrodstown, aka Fort Harrod, was 198.  Not until 1785 was the name changed to Harrodsburg.
The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by John E. Kleber; pg:344

 

On September 11, 1777, 37 men were sent to Captain Joseph Bowman to help shell corn. While shelling, they were fired upon by Native Americans.  Eli Garrard died and Daniel Brahan mortally wounded five others seriously. 
Historical Sketches of Kentucky: History of Kentucky, Volume 2 by Lewis Collins; pg:615

 

October 1, 1777, Col. George Rogers Clark left Harrodsburg for the East, and reached the capital of Virginia November the 5th

By 1778, most of the native American towns in Kentucky, such as Eskippakithiki, known today as the Indian Old Fields in Clark County, had been repeatedly destroyed by the American army.  According to the Draper manuscript, many Piqua Shawnee moved from Lower Shawnee Town, in present-day Greenup and Lewis Counties, Kentucky to a village near the Little Miami River's mouth in present-day Hamilton County, Ohio.

 

On February 7, 1778, Daniel Boone was hunting by himself, with horse and rifle, in a snowstorm.  He had killed a buffalo, tied the meat's best upon his horse, and was trudging for camp when four Natives surprised him.  A date long remembered by the Kentucky frontier's settlers, he was captured by the Shawnee and British near Blue Licks.  Fort Boonesborough saw some of its darkest days as they feared Boone was dead.  Boone, however, understood the nature of the Native Americans and the Shawnees treated him well.  He had killed a number of their warriors, but only when fighting man to man against odds.  He trusted the word of Chief Black Fish.  Black Fish seemed to have a genuine liking for him and adopted him as his son, giving Boone the name of Sheltowee (Big Turtle).  Having learned some of the native languages, Boone caught wind of an impending attack and escaped to warn the fort after five months in capture. 
The Boone Family by Hazel A. Spraker; pg:116

 

May 2, 1778, Josiah Collins arrives from Haix County, VA to Boonesborough by Wilderness Road. 
Lexington, 1779 Pioneer Kentucky  As Described by Early Settlers by Bettye Lee Martin

 

May 27, 1778, Corn Island in the Ohio River is where the small band of pioneers established Louisville.  During the following summer, George Rogers Clark trained recruits for his Illinois campaign on the Island, and the settlers planted corn and camped there until the fort on shore, Fort Nelson, was built in 1781.  Thomas Hutchins mapped it in 1766, at which time it measured 4,000 feet long and 1,000 feet wide, encompassing about seventy acres.  “Great sycamores, cottonwoods, and giant cane,” covered the Island during the late 1700s. 

 

In June 1778, a party of Native Americans come to North Elkhorn Creek, killed a man and took an African American girl prisoner.

 

June 15, 1778, the major fighting force of the Shawnee returned from an unsuccessful raid against Donelly's Fort on the Greenbrier River where they had been soundly repulsed.  Smarting for revenge they decided on an immediate raid to surprise and capture Fort Boonesborough.

 

June 15, 1778, Boone makes his escape from his Shawnee captures. 
A History of the Daniel Boone National Forest, 1770-1970 by Robert F. Collins

 

June 20, 1778, Daniel Boone arrived back at Fort Boonesborough after being held captive for approximately five months by the Shawnee.  Mr. Boone made the brave escape from his capture when he became aware of their plan to attack Fort Boonesborough.  His arrival was critical in warning the inhabitants of the fort of the impending attack.  He had abandoned his horse after a few miles and made the rest of the way on foot. He covered over 160 miles in four days, eating only one meal and a bit of jerked venison en-route.  For ten days, the fort was a beehive of activity.  The main gates strengthened.  The stockade at the gates and between the outer cabins ware completed or repaired.  No attack came, but it did lead directly to the Great Siege of Fort Boonesborough in September.
A History of the Daniel Boone National Forest, 1770-1970 by Robert F. Collins; pg:101

 

June 24, 1778, George Rogers Clark and 175 men “shot the falls” of the Ohio River in canoes during a total eclipse of the sun.

 

July 17, 1778, one of the men taken prisoner taken at the Salt Camp, William Hancock, returned to Fort Boonesborough.  He had news that Boone’s escapee did delay the intended attack on the fort. 
A History of the Daniel Boone National Forest, 1770-1970 by Robert F. Collins; pg:102

 

September 7, 1778, the Great Siege of Fort Boonesborough began on a Monday morning, when the best war chiefs of the Shawnee, an estimated 444 Native Americans, 12 Frenchmen and one Negro, surrounded the fort.  The Native Americans’ intention was not to attack but to escort the settlers to Detroit.  Shawnee Chief Black Fish’ and Daniel Boone’s entourages finally agreed to meet at the gate to discuss terms.  As a token of good faith, the chief brought seven roasted buffalo tongues, little did they know how welcome these were to the half-starved settlers.  The settlers had voted not to leave the fort.  Thus the siege began.  The siege lasted nine days and had broken all records for sieges of Native Americans warfare in Kentucky.  The courage, the tenacity and the strength of the defenders had triumphed.  In retrospect, historians have pointed out repeatedly that, had Fort Boonesborough fallen, undoubtedly the other two stations in Kentucky, Fort Harrodsburg and Fort Logan, would also have been destroyed and the Kentucky frontier emptied from settlement.  Had this happened, it is possible that those of us living in Kentucky today would be citizens of Canada rather than of the United States of America.

 

October 15, 1778, John Morrison, one of 16 men left Harrodsburg under the command of Capt. James Harrod and proceeded to the Falls of Ohio, down the Ohio and up the Mississippi, for salt returning in December. 
Lexington, 1779 Pioneer Kentucky  As Described by Early Settlers by Bettye Lee Martin

 

November 4, 1778, the Virginia Legislature again voided the Transylvania Purchase made by Richard Henderson. 
A History of the Daniel Boone National Forest, 1770-1970 by Robert F. Collins; pg:102

April 17, 1779, Col. Robert Patterson, an ensign in Capt. Levi Todd's company, set out "to establish a garrison at some convenient site north of the Kentucky River."  He led a group of 25 men from Harrod's Fort to erect a stockade on Lexington's site.  On this date, they began erecting the first block-house in Lexington.  A stockade surrounded the structure located on a spring that emptied into a stream nearby.  This garrison was built in the shape of a parallelogram and was a defense against Native Americans.  It was located near the corner of what is now Main and Mill streets in Lexington.  Lexington was permanently established this year.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:16

 

April 15, 1779, a party from Harrodsburg left the fort to explore another settlement.
Lexington, 1779 Pioneer Kentucky  As Described By Early Settlers by Bettye Lee Martin

 

April 16, 1779, the party from Harrodsburg arrived on the middle fork of the Elkhorn Creek after dark. 
Lexington, 1779 Pioneer Kentucky  As Described by Early Settlers by Bettye Lee Martin

 

April 17, 1779, Lexington was settled with the building of a blockhouse.
Lexington, 1779 Pioneer Kentucky  As Described By Early Settlers by Bettye Lee Martin

 

On October 13, 1779, the Virginia legislature began to execute a plan and formed a committee, Virginia Land Commission, to resolve proper ownership of the lands in the new territory.  The commission traveled from fort to fort and awarded land to settlers who could prove their valid claims.  These actions help increase the stability of the area and migration began to rise from the East.  A healthy ’79 corn crop also helped.  
A History of the Daniel Boone National Forest, 1770-1970 By Robert F. Collins

 

March 4, 1780, Captain Abraham Lincoln was given a land grant for his service in the Revolutionary War.  The land was along the Green River along what is now Lincoln County. 

 

On March 8, 1780, Colonel Richard Callaway, Pemberton Rawlings and three negro slaves worked on Callaway’s ferry boat about a mile above Boonesborough when they were fired upon by a party of Shawnee.  Callaway was killed, scalped and burned.  The Native Americans had rolled the body in the mud.  Pemberton Rawlings was mortally wounded in the attack and also died.  The two comrades were buried in a single grave within the old fort or stockade at Boonesborough.  One slave escaped to the fort to tell the news and two slaves were captured by the Native Americans and never heard of again. 

 

“Probably no single man accomplished more than did Colonel Richard Callaway in laying the foundation that culminated in the admission of Kentucky into the Union on June 1, 1792.”  This was a quote by R. Alexander Bate A.B., M.D, in an article published in The Filson Club History Quarterly [volume 29, no. 1, January 1955, Louisville, Kentucky].

 

March 20, 1780, the town trustees appropriated “the sum of thirty pounds gold and granted one acre of ground to build a courthouse, prison and office, provided that court was to be held in Lexington.”  The trustees later set aside Lot No. 11, located on the northwest corner of Main Cross and Main Streets.  The pioneers finished the first courthouse in the spring of 1782.  The two-story building was built of logs, with two rooms per floor (each 18 by 18 feet).  Rooms were heated by a fireplace on each end.

 

April 2, 1780, Joice Craig Falconer, with her family and others moved from Lexington to establish Francis McConnell’s Station only 1 1/4 miles from the Lexington Fort. 
Lexington, 1779 Pioneer Kentucky  As Described by Early Settlers by Bettye Lee Martin

 

April 2, 1780, a man named “White” was killed by Native Americans and attacks became so prevalent in Central Kentucky that Levi Todd abandoned his station for the Lexington fort. 
Lexington, 1779 Pioneer Kentucky  As Described by Early Settlers by Bettye Lee Martin

 

westerncounties

June 30, 1780, the Virginia Assembly divided Kentucky County into Fayette, Lincoln and Jefferson Counties.  The new counties all became effective on November 1, 1780.  At the time, the territory was home to five established communities: BoonesboroughFort Harrod/Boiling SpringsSt. Asaph, later called Logan’s StationMcClelland’s Station and Leestown

HammonFincastleCounty

October 6, 1780, Edward “Neddie” Boone, Daniel’s brother, was shot and scalped by Native Americans near what is today Flat Rock, Bourbon County.  Edward was buried beneath an old Buckeye Tree where he was shot.  The address of the grave today is 870 See Road, ½ mile north of the junction of KY Hwy. 537.  The nearby creek thereafter was named Boone Creek in honor of Edward’s death there.  He left his widow, Martha Bryan Boone, and six children: Charity, Jane, Mary, George, Joseph, Sarah.

 

October 7, 1780, at the decisive Battle of Kings Mountain, there were Cherokee warriors, from Kentucky, fighting on both sides during the American Revolution. 

June 21, 1781, Daniel Boone, a representative to Virginia's General Assemble from the new Fayette County, presented a petition to the Virginia's House of Representatives for Lexington to become an established town. 
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:17

 

September 13, 1781, the Long Run Massacre occurred near present-day Eastwood on the Falls Trace.  At the massacre site, the trace intersects the Long Run of Floyd’s Fork, hence the name.  It was one of the frontier’s battles that pitted American Settlers against the British and Native Americans.  The previous day, settlers at Squire Boone’s Painted Stone Station, north of present-day Shelbyville, learned of a massive raid, 400-500 strong and decided to head west to seek refuge at Beargrass Station.  Captain James Welch escorted the party from Ft. Nelson.  The Native Americans attacked the party at the 13-mile tree, approximately eight miles from Linn’s Station.  A running battle resulted for almost a mile.  Some fought with bravery while others abandoned their neighbors.  At least seven pioneers were killed, but some claim more than ten lost their lives.  The Native Americans lives lost is unknown.  Most of the survivors reached Linn’s Station that night.  The defeat was followed the next day by Floyd’s Defeat, an even costlier battle with the Native Americans.
The Encyclopedia of Louisville edited by John E. Kleber; pg:526

 

In the winter of 1781-82 plans were made for a grand assembly of Native Americans to make plans for a joint expedition against Kentucky.  The assembly was to meet in the summer at the Shawnee capitol of Old Chillicothe and attended by the chiefs and warriors of all the tribes under British influence: Shawnee, Mingo, Delaware, Wyandot, Pottawattomies and Cherokee.  It was decided that the tribes were to meet at Chillicothe in August and march against Kentucky.

By 1782, individual Cherokee political alliances had become extremely complex.  Some traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to seek protection from the Spanish government, while others moved north and joined the Shawnee on the Scioto River getting supplies and council from the British military.  At the same time, representatives of the Chippewa, Ottawa, Potawatomi, and Wyandot traveled to the Cumberland River valley to council with the Cherokee about joining them in an all out war against the United States.

 

March 1, 1782, a party of 25 Wyandot surprised Strode’s station.  They held a 36 hour siege, killed two settlers and destroyed all the sheep and cattle. When Captain James Estill and his men went looking for the Wyandot known to be in the area, the war party surrounded his station and killed one woman.  They thought the fort to be well defended, so they left.  Captain Estill followed them to Little Mountain Creek.  Estill’s men fought the Wyandot for two hours and were defeated.  The Wyandot took out Estill and all but five of his men.

 

April 8, 1782, John Floyd, his brother, Charles and Alexander Breckinridge were travelling from Floyd’s Station on Beargrass Creek to a point on Salt River.  They were attacked by Native Americans and John was seriously injured.  With his death two days later, Kentucky had lost two of her three county lieutenants in less than eight months. 
A Kentucky Sampler by Lowell Harrison & Nelson L. Dawson

 

May 5/6, 1782, the town of Lexington was established by an act of the Virginia General Assembly.  The act was received by a board of seven Lexington trustees to receive 710 acres. 
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:17

 

August 12-14, 1782, War party consisting of Captain Caldwell, Simon Girty, Shawnee and Wyandot warriors of about 300 strong came into Kentucky.  Small detachments were sent to several forts but the main body went on to Hoy’s Station.  At Hoy’s Station, the war party captured Captain William Hoy’s son and another boy.  A militia was assembled to pursue the war party.  On the east side of Upper Blue Licks the militia was ambushed, Hoy and the remaining men, retreated from the field leaving their dead and wounded behind.  The men were able to return to the fort to await re-enforcements from Lexington.  The war party had the fort under attack until night fall, killing five to six more settlers.  They demanded that the fort surrender, when the fort refused, the war party feasted on the fort’s cattle and vegetables, then they left the fort.

 

August 15-17, 1782, Captain Caldwell and his combined Shawnee and Wyandot force, attempted to surprise Bryant’s Station.  They set up a siege of the fort.  Despite attempts by the settlers to draw the Natives into all out battle, there was no attempt to storm the fort.  The war party fired on the fort, burned the stable, and attempted to stop the re-enforcement of the fort by the men from Lexington.  The war party demanded the surrender of the fort, and left after a 24 hour siege when the fort refused.  Captain Caldwell marched to the Battle of Lower Blue Licks.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:17

 

August 19, 1782, the Battle of Blue Licks was fought near present day Mount Olivet in Robertson County.  This important battle embodied the conflict between Kentucky settlers, the American Native Americans and the British Crown.  It was one of the last battles of the American Revolutionary War.  It was also the last major Native American battles in Kentucky although small skirmishes and raids would continue until 1813.  The battle occurred ten months after Lord Cornwallis’s famous surrender at Yorktown, which ended the war in the east. Blue Licks was the last victory for the British and Natives and a disaster for Kentuckians.  Seventy-two Kentuckians were killed in that fight; more than a third of their force.  One of these was Israel Boone who was shot in the heart.  His father Daniel tried to carry his body of the battleground but had to leave it behind to save his own life.  The Native Americans and British lost only three men.  This defeat marked the lowest point in the America’s push for the West, however, Native Americans and the British would never again attack in this uniformed, large scale offensive.

 

November 10, 1782, George Rogers Clark sent a Kentucky force to invade the Native American county north of the Ohio.  They descended on the town of Miamis where the natives fled without a fight.  The native towns were burned and supplies stolen.  The news of these actions also help the confidence of white men who wanted to settle new land.  
A History of the Daniel Boone National Forest, 1770-1970 by Robert F. Collins; pg:102

January 28, 1788, Elijah Craig was credited with the establishment of the first classical school in Kentucky.  The school would offer courses in Latin, Greek and “such branches of the sciences as are usually taught in public seminaries.”  Ten years later the school was absorbed by the Rittenhouse Academy, which was given by the state some 5,900 acres in Christian and Cumberland counties so that they might sell the land to benefit their endowment fund.  The academy, in turn, was absorbed by Georgetown College in 1829.

 

In February 1788, a small party of Native Americans came to Elijah Craig’s on the Elkhorn and stole fifteen head of horses.

 

In April 1788, due to a large number of Native American causing trouble in Kentucky, 366 militia men were called for permanent duty, also called were 66 scouts to locate the native bands. 

 

In May 1788, a flat boat loaded with kettles, intended for the manufacture of salt at Bullitt’s Lick, left Louisville with twelve men and one woman.  They were taken by surprise by a band of Native Americans and battle ensued.  When the battle was over only two of the male settlers survived and the women was taken captive of the 120 Native Americans in the battle, 30 were killed.

 

July 4, 1788, in Thomas Young’s tavern, Lexington men remembered the revolution that had named their city in the “first regular and formal celebration” of independence, 14 toasts were drunk at a dinner. 

 

July 6, 1788, the 6th Convention for statehood, opened in Danville.

 

November 5, 1788, Mason County was approved by Virginia.

 

November 12, 1788, Woodford County was approved by Virginia. 

 

KY 1788

November 17, 1788, the first Masonic Lodge was established west of the Allegheny Mountains in Lexington. 

March 7, 1789, The “e” was dropped from Kentucke and replaced by the “y,” the Virginia legislatures thought the spelling more proper. 

 

June 1, 1789, Transylvania Seminary’s held their first session in Lexington after moving from Danville. 
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:16

 

June 1, 1789, Indians broke into the house of Edmond Stephenson in Madison County and wounded one person.  A number of horses had been stolen from this county.

 

July 17, 1789, Chinoweth’s station was attacked by an number of Indians who entered the Chinweth house, while the family was at supper.  Three of the Chinoweth family were killed and seven wounded.  Three of the wounded have since died, and the others are in serious condition.  The Indians plundered the house of everything they could carry away.  Also at this station, before the major attack, one man was killed and one wounded.  The county has also seen mor than 20 horses stolen.

 

October 1, 1789, a group of eleven Native Americans - two Cherokees, three Shawnees, three Wyandots, and three Delawares - raided the Bland County, Virginia cabin of Thomas and Jenny Wiley, apparently seeking revenge for the deaths of two Native Americans who had been killed by the neighboring Harmon family.

 

Other Kentucky Native American attacks around 1789: Nelson County: two men killed and two wounded, and more than 20 horses stolen. Lincoln County: one man and one child killed and more than 20 horses stolen.  Bourbon County: two men badly wounded and about 15 horses stolen.  Mason County: two men killed and 41 horses stolen.  Woodford County: One boy killed and several horses stolen.

Native Americans killed three men at Carpenter’s Station and broke up a settlement on Russel’s creek.  Barnett’s Station now Calhoun was attacked and two children killed.  In a letter from Henry James of Danville to Jonathan Brown, James tells of many attacks by Native Americans in Kentucky: two men were killed while hunting, and three men were killed on the Wilderness Road.  He also speaks of stations being abandoned out of fear from attacks.

 

January 1790, a boat was attacked on the Ohio River killing nine white people, one woman was missing, and a boy was taken captive by Native Americans but he escaped.

 

February 1790, a white man was killed at Mudlick by Native Americans. 

 

March 1790, Natives raid Charles Canc’s station between the two forks of the Big Sandy River.  Native Americans broke up Kenton Station near Limestone and captured all the settlers.

 

May 1790, John Bradford organized the first regular fire company in Lexington. 
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:21

 

May 15, 1790, the first Methodist Conference west of the Allegheny Mountains was held at Masterson’s Station. 
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:21

 

May 23, 1790, a company of people were going home from a meeting on Brashier’s Creek, they were fired on by a party of Native Americans.  One man was killed and one woman was taken captive.  A group was gathered to pursue the Natives, but when they got close the captive was killed and the group dispersed so that they could not be followed.

 

June 1790, two men killed at Deer Lick.

 

July 1790 letter from Harry Innes to Henry Knox: “that all warfare had been due to Indian aggression.  In an effort to protect and pressure land rights, an expedition of volunteers into Indian territory will commence.  Volunteers will not discriminate who they injure or kill.”

 

August 1, 1790, the first recorded duel in Kentucky took place, two years before Kentucky became a state.  It was fought in Danville between Capt. James Strong and Henry Craig.  At sunrise the two lined up facing each other armed with clumsy flintlock pistols of large caliber. According to the Kentucky Gazette, “Captain Strong was mortally wounded; the ball entered his right groin and passed just below his left hip.  Mr. Craig was wounded through the right thigh.”  The cause of the duel was not given. 
Famous Kentucky Duels by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:3

 

August 2, 1790, the first official census for Kentucky began and was mandated by the U.S. to be completed within nine months.  The results were: 15,154 free white males of 16 years and older, including heads of families, 17,057 free white males under 16 years, 28,922 free white females, including heads of families, 114 all other free persons, 12,430 Slaves. 73,677 total number of inhabitants reported. 

 

December of 1790, Kentucky settlers petitioned Congress to fight the Cherokee in whatever way they saw fit.

February 21, 1792, James Harrod who established Kentucky's first settlement, now known as Harrodsburg, disappeared.  Many felt Harrod was either killed by Native Americans or became sick and died in the wilderness while hunting.

 

April 2, 1792, knowing that Kentucky was to be admitted to the Union as a state, delegates to the tenth statehood convention met in Danville.  They met until April 18 to draft a constitution that included a twenty-six-point bill of rights.  There is little or no documentation describing the actual process of adding these sections or identifying their origins.  Without question, however, George Nicholas was the predominant drafter of the bill of rights.  Nicholas was fully informed on the subject of constitutions and the rights they guaranteed states and individuals.  He had come to Kentucky from Virginia in 1788, fresh from the great debate over that state’s ratification of the U.S. Constitution.  He was familiar, too, with George Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776).

 

The delegates had copies of the Massachusetts constitution of 1780 and the second Pennsylvania constitution of 1790.  Both of these documents contain comprehensive statements of citizens' rights; though they use differing phraseology, they express precisely the same guarantees.  It seems inevitable that the earlier Massachusetts document influenced the framers of the Pennsylvania document.  Delegates to the tenth convention in Danville copied the Pennsylvania bill of rights, making only a few minor changes.

 

More than twenty Native American Tribes, including the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Chippewa, Delaware, Eel River, Haudenosaunee, Kaskaskia, Kickapoo, Miami, Ottawa, Piankeshaw, Potawatomi, Shawnee, Wea, and Wyandot, held legal claims to the land.  At that time, Kentucky was also considered home to the Mingo and Yamacraw, and Yuchi.

 

April 5, 1792, Tucker’s Station in Green County was attacked.  The Rev. John Tucker, his wife and two others killed as they tried to escape to Casey’s Station.

 

April 19, 1792, Kentucky adopted its statehood constitution, meeting the deadline established by Congress for admission before June 1, 1792. 
The History of Pioneer Lexington by Charles R. Staples

 

May 1792, over a several day period a band of Native Americans attacked several homes on the Elkhorn Creek and Upper Blue Licks.  They burned several houses, killed at least 10 men, and took several prisoners.

 

May 15, 1792, Isaac Shelby was elected the first Governor of Kentucky by electors from different regions of the state.
Governors of Kentucky 1792 – 1942 by G. Glen Clift

 

June 1, 1792, the Kentucky State Act admitting Kentucky into the Union took effect.  Under the Presidency of George Washington, Kentucky was now the first state west of the Appalachian Mountains and the 15th state in the young Union.

 

June 4, 1792, was a special day for Kentucky and Lexington.  On this day Lexington hosted the 1st Kentucky legislature on the second floor of the Market House on Main Street.  Also on this day, Lexington hosted the inauguration of Governor Isaac Shelby, Kentucky’s first governor.  The session continued until June 29th. 
History of Lexington, KY by George W. Ranck

 

June 18, 1792, the Kentucky legislature elected their first two senators, John Brown and John Edwards, to the U.S. Senate.

 

June 22, 1792, Scott County and Washington County are the first counties created by the new Commonwealth of  Kentucky.

 

June 23, 1792, Shelby County was created from Jefferson County.

 

June 28, 1792, Logan County is created from Lincoln County by Kentucky Legislators.

 

On December 5, 1792, a commission, selected by the Kentucky Legislature, chose Frankfort as its capital.  It was instructed to the Commissioners to select a site that pledged the largest contribution toward constructing a statehouse.  Several cities bid, but Frankfort’s offer of several town lots, rent money from a tobacco warehouse, various building materials and $3,000 in cash from eight local citizens overwhelmed the others.  A three-story statehouse was completed in 1794 and burned to the ground in 1813. 

 

December 6, 1792, Clark County is created.

 

December 12, 1792, Hardin County is created from Nelson County.

 

December 18, 1792, the Kentucky General Assembly established an act prescribing the mode of appointing inspectors of tobacco, hemp and flour governed by the laws of Virginia.  “That the different ware-houses in the county of Clark, shall be in one inspection and that the ware-houses at Cleveland and Stafford’s landing, shall be one other inspection.”

 

December 20, 1792, during the first session of the Kentucky General Assembly, the body passed an act creating the state seal and adopting the state motto.  More specifically, the legislation stated that the seal was “to be engraved with the following device, viz: Two friends embracing, with the name of the state over their heads and around about the following motto: United we stand, divided we fall.”

 

December 20, 1792, Green County is created from Lincoln County and Nelson County.

 

KY 1792

April 1793, Morgan’s Station - Nineteen white women and children were captured by Native Americans.  Settlers went after the group overtaking them.  Captives returned home, but not before some pioneers died—also, Morgan’s Station- Lieut. William McMulens and twenty-six men from Lexington and Fayette County guarded the ironworks on Slate Creek, due to attacks by members of the Wyandotte Tribe.

 

October 21, 1793, the trustees of Lexington issued a statement in the Kentucky Gazette to put a stop to racing thoroughbreds through the streets of Lexington after several close encounters of flying horse shoes hitting spectators.  Racing would be confined to "the lower end of the Commons (Water Street), where stud horses can be shown.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:22

 

December 21, 1793, Harrison County is created from Bourbon and Scott. 

 

KY 1793

January 13, 1794, President Washington authorized an act to change the U.S. flag to a 15-star, 15-stripe flag.  This act added two stripes and two stars for Vermont's admission (the 14th State) and Kentucky (the 15th State).  It was the only U.S. Flag to have more than 13 stripes and lasted 23 years.  Francis Scott Key immortalized it during the bombardment of Fort McHenry on September 13, 1814.  The flag that flew over Fort McHenry on that day is now preserved in the Smithsonian Museum.  The five Presidents who served under this flag were; George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe.  Faced with the admission of five more states in 1818, the flag design would return to the original thirteen stripes.

 

January 28, 1794, James Harrod’s will was recorded.  James Harrod died mysteriously during one of his hunting trips in the winter of 1792.  His body was never found and because of his prominence in the state, his death intrigued the public.  The story captivated the young commonwealth.  The only documentation on the disappearance was Mrs. Harrod’s testimony about receiving her Revolutionary War Wife’s Pension, which she never received.  Ann believed he was murdered by “Bridges.”  James was an important witness against “Bridges” in a pending lawsuit.  James Harrod divided his plantation between his wife and daughter.  The daughter’s second inheritance from her half-brother increased her acreage to 2,800 and when Margaret married in 1802, she was one of Central Kentucky’s richest heiresses. 

 

July 1794, General Charles Scott left Kentucky with nearly 1,000 volunteers to join General Wayne in his campaign against Native Americans.  Their dress "was a hunting knife and leggins, with rifle, tomahawk, knife, pouch and powder horn."  It was understood there was "not a drafted man in the whole command."
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:22

 

July 4, 1794, Col. William Price, a Revolutionary War veteran, held the first known celebration of Independence Day west of the Alleghenies.  A historic marker in Jessamine County commemorates the event where 40 veterans dined to celebrate the "glorious birthday of our freedom."

 

October 1, 1794, the first post office was established in Kentucky.  Innes B. Brent was the Post Master.  Both the post office and jail was in the two-story log building.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:22

 

October 21, 1794, General Thomas Kennedy of Garrard County vs. William Gillespie of Madison County.  Trouble arose over a business transaction; the duel was fought at Paint Lick in Garrard County.  Gillespie was killed on the first fire; Kennedy escaped unharmed, the bullet passing through his clothes under his left arm. 
Famous Kentucky Duels by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:4

 

 

November 3, 1794, the legislatures occupied the 3rd capital building, but the first permanent one for the first time.  The Kentucky legislatures had first met in Lexington, then in Frankfort, each time using a temporary home.  This new stone structure was 100 square feet, three stories high and covered by a hipped roof, with a central cupola.  This building would last 19 years before it was destroyed by fire in November 1813.  The next capital building built would also be burned.  Kentucky has had eight different capitol buildings.  All have been in Frankfort except the first temporary log cabin used in Lexington.
The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by John E. Kleber; pg:161

 

December 7, 1794, Franklin County was created from Mercer, Shelby and Woodford.  It was the first county created from three established counties. 

 

December 12, 1794, the Kentucky legislature chartered the Kentucky Academy, under the Transylvania Presbytery. 
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:22

 

December 17, 1794, Campbell County was created from Harrison, Mason and Scott.

 

KY 1794

In 1795 Thomas Cooper wrote that no part of Kentucky could be deemed “perfectly safe” from Native American attacks, except the area around Lexington.  Both the Pittsburgh and Wilderness Roads are “liable to ‘perpetual molestation by savages.”

 

January 1, 1795, John Bradford, John Breckinridge,  Dr. Frederick Ridgely and several other gentlemen "Resolve to organize a library called Transylvania Library."  Almost a year passed before books were placed in the Transylvania Seminary Building."
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:23

 

February 17, 1795, J. H. Stewart’s Kentucky Herald, was the second newspaper produced in Kentucky.  It was later consolidated into the Kentucky Gazette. 
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:23

 

March 28, 1795, one of the last recorded skirmishes among Native Americans and colonist in Kentucky occurred at the salt works and Cherokee burial grounds on Goose Creek in Clay County.

 

May 1795, two men hunting horses on the frontiers of Madison County were fired upon by a party of Native Americans.  One of the men was killed.

 

August 3, 1795, The Treaty of Greenville, negotiated in Ohio, ended the war between the United States and the Native American confederacy.  The treaty occurred between Major General Anthony Wayne, commander of the army of the United States, and the Chippewa, Delaware, Eel River, Kaskaskia, Kickapoo, Miami, Ottawa, Piankeshaw, Potawatomi, Shawnee, Wea, and Wyandot.

June 7, 1796, James Garrard, a farmer and former Baptist minister, was sworn in as Kentucky’s second governor as a Democratic-Republican Party candidate.  The Democratic-Republican Party, states’ rights-oriented, was the 2nd political party in the U.S. and formed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in opposition to America’s 1st political party, Hamilton’s Federalist Party.  Governor Garrard went on to win a second term to be the first two-term governor.  No other governor achieved this feat until the term-limit restriction was eased by a 1992 amendment, allowing Paul E. Patton’s re-election in 1999.

 

October 15, 1796, the Wilderness Road's first written record is an announcement in the Kentucky Gazette: "The Wilderness Road from Cumberland Gap to the settlements in Kentucky is now completed.  Wagons loaded with a ton weight, may pass with ease, with four good horses."  Before that time, most people called the route either Kentucky Road or the road to the Holston settlements, depending upon travel direction.  On John Filson's map, the old trail is called "The Road from the Old settle[ments] thro' the great Wilderness."

 

December 1796, William Clarke of Maryland finally accepted the U.S. Attorney appointment to prosecute Whiskey Rebellion cases in Kentucky.  No individual wanted the job and many high profile individuals declined the position.  They understood the difficulty of prosecuting local distilleries for not paying taxes.  The rebellion began two years earlier in PA.

 

December 13, 1796, Bullitt County and Christian County were formed. 

 

December 14, 1796, Montgomery County and Bracken County were formed. 

 

December 17, 1796, Garrard County was created from Madison County, Lincoln County and Mercer County. 

 

December 19, 1796, Warren County was created from Logan County.

 

Ky1796

February 10, 1797, Chief Red Bird, a Cherokee leader, and his friend, Will Emory, were brutally murdered, in what is now, Clay County, Kentucky.  Red Bird River, a tributary of the Kentucky River, was named in his honor.

 

May 31, 1797, The Kentucky Gazette ran an announcement for the first public amusement in Central Kentucky.  "A room for exhibition purposes has been erected for tumbling, balancing on slack wire, slack rope walking and dancing.  Admission to pit, 2 shillings; to gallery, 2 shillings and 2 pence.  Doors  open at sunset, performance begins at dark. 
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:23

 

October 17, 1797, exiled French Prince Louis-Phillipe d’Orleans arrived in Bardstown, Kentucky.  He had decided to explore the American frontier while waiting for the French Revolution to defeat Napolean and one of his stops was Kentucky.

March 20, 1798, Henry Clay, who studied law in Virginia was sworn in as a member of the bar in a two-story stone courthouse on Main Street. 
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:23

 

April 25, 1798, Henry Clay had attacked the institution of slavery in a piece he wrote for the Kentucky Gazette under the pseudonym of Scaevola.

 

May 9, 1798, the town trustees reported that Lexington’s census, as reported by the town trustees, consisted of; Males above 12: 462, Females: 307, Whites under 12: 346, Negros: 360. 
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:24

 

October 2, 1798, the first Treaty of Tellico was negotiated with the Cherokee Nation.  It allowed for safe passage of settlers using the Kentucky road, running through Cherokee land between the Cumberland Mountain and the Cumberland River, in exchange for hunting rights on all relinquished lands, a further refinement of the Holston Treaty of 1791.

 

December 22, 1798, the Kentucky legislature passed an act merging rival Presbyterian institutions of learning.  The Kentucky Academy in Woodford County and Transylvania Seminary of Lexington merged and became Transylvania University.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:24

 

December 22, 1798, Shelbyville Academy was chartered by the Kentucky General Assembly, with a grant of 6,000 acres of land south of the Green River.  In 1836 the name changed to Shelby College, and in 1841 the Protestant Episcopal Church took control when the campus.  The campus consisted of 18 acres, a brick building and the president’s home.  In the late 1840s and 1850s, the college expanded its curriculum for surveyors, civil engineers, astronomers, pharmacists and physicians.  The school’s main classroom building included an astronomical observatory built by Kentuckian Gideon Shryock.  Disputes overusing a lottery to provide funding hurt the college, and it closed in 1868.  After the school was used as a school for boys and then an elementary school, the building was razed.

 

December 25, 1798, after several known atrocities, the Harpe Brothers were first arrested in the state of Kentucky.  The arrest was for the murder of a man named Langford.  Langford had befriended them at a public house near Rockcastle River and was foolish enough to show off his silver coin too many times.  Jailed in Danville, the brothers managed to escape.  When the local posse chased after them, the young son of a man who assisted the authorities was found dead and mutilated in retaliation by the Harpes.  Four months later, Governor James Garrard placed a three-hundred dollar reward on each of the Harpes’ heads.  The Harpe brothers were the first known recorded serial killers.

 

In 1798, thirteen new counties were formed by the Kentucky legislatures.  This was the most Kentucky counties created in one year.  The counties were: Fleming, Pulaski, Pendleton, Livingston, Boone, Henry, Cumberland, Gallatin, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Jessamine, Barren and Henderson. 

KY 1798

The first prison west of the Allegheny Mountains opened in Frankfort on one land of acre.

 

April 11, 1799, Henry Clay (22) married Lucretia Hart (18) in Lexington at 193 North Mill Street, Lucretia’s father’s house.  They had 11 children, five sons and six daughters, seven of who reached adulthood. Lucretia tolerated her husband’s periodic gambling and drinking bouts.  She was once asked if she minded her husband’s habitual gambling.  “Doesn’t it distress you,” sniffed a Boston matron, “to have Mr. Clay gamble?”  Lucretia looked surprised at the question. “Oh! Dear, no,” she replied very innocently, “he most always wins.”
Henry Clay: Statesman for the Union By Robert Vincent Remini; pg:30

 

May 16, 1799, John Bradford, the Kentucky Gazette proprietor, announced that he would take payment for subscriptions: “corn, wheat, country made linen, linsey, sugar, whiskey, ash flooring and cured hams.”
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:24

 

July 22, 1799, a constitutional convention convened in Frankfort to draft Kentucky’s second constitution.  Kentucky had been admitted to the union in 1792 after seven constitutional conventions sought statehood.

 

August 24, 1799, in Henderson, Micajah “Big” Harpe’s head was sawed off and stuck on a pole.  Big and Little Harpe became America’s first serial killers.  When the killing spree came to Kentucky, over ten individuals lost their lives.  A posse finally tracked the brothers down, right before they were planning to kill yet another man.  Big Harpe was shot off his horse, while Little Harpe fled.  Moses Stegall, whose family was murdered in Kentucky, got his revenge – by slowly sawing off Big Harpe’s head.  Before dying, Harpe confessed to at least 20 murders.  As a warning, Big Harpe’s head was stuck onto a pole at an intersection in Henderson, later called Harpe’s Head.  The brothers’ brutal deeds left a permanent stain on the American frontier.

 

November 21, 1799, John James Dufour of Vevey, Switzerland, had the first commercial vineyard and winery in the U.S., known as the “First Vineyard.”  Dufour traveled up and down the Ohio, Mississippi and Kentucky rivers and selected Jessamine County because there was a shipping port across from the Kentucky River, where he could ship to New Orleans and beyond.  The first wine drank from the vineyard was consumed on March 21, 1803.  The winery has collected many interesting historical facts, such as a letter in 1805 from Thomas Jefferson, who thanked Dufour for the wines.  Shown is a certificate of a share in the “First Vineyard” of Dufour’s Kentucky Vineyard Society.

 

December 13, 1799, the Kentucky General Assembly sought to check the spread of dueling, which was becoming vogue in the Deep South.  The act aimed to stop gambling and dueling by levying a fine of $150 to $500 for each violation.  It becomes even harsher with imposing prison terms and disqualifying duellist from holding public office, a provision especially oppressive on politically minded Kentuckians.
Famous Kentucky Duels by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:5  

 

In 1799, the following counties were created:  Breckinridge, Floyd, Knox and Nicholas. 

 

KY 1799