Page images

than one third nor more than one half of the number of representatives. The executive power is vested in a governor, who also holds his office for two years. The judges of the several courts of law are appointed by the general assembly, and bold their offices during good behavior.

Commerce.] The principal exports are cotton, tobacco and wheat. The usual route to a market is down the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers to tbe Ohio, and thence down the Ohio and Mississippi to New Orleans. This course is very circuitous, and it is expected that a road or canal will soon be formed, connecting Tennessee river with some of the branches of the Tombigbee, which will shorten the distance to the gulf of Mexico more than one half. Cattle are raised in large numbers in East Tenneasee, and sent to the seaports in the Atlantic states. Foreign goods have hitherto been brought from Philadelphia and Baltimore to East Tennessee, in wagons; and to West Tennessee, principally in wagons as far as Pittsburgh, and thence bywater down the Ohio and uy the Cumberland.


Situation and Extent.] Kentucky is bounded on the N. W. and N. by the states ef Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, from which it is separated by Ohio river; E. by Virginia, from which it is separated by Big Sandy river and the Cumberland mountains; S. by Tennessee ; and VV. by the state of Missouri, from which it is separated by the Mississippi river. It extends from 36° 30' to 39" 10 N. lat. and from 81° 60' to 89° 26' W. Ion. It is 300 miles long on the southern line. The area is estimated at 42,000 square miles..

Divisions.] The state is divided into <17 counties.






in 1810.


2,082 21,370 8,947 3,485 8,013 3,307 9,186

2,301 6,735 2,369 7,531








[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Rivers.] Kentucky is almost insulated by navigable rivers. The Big Sandy, the Ohio and the Mississippi form its boundary on three sides, while the Cumberland, in two places, intersects its southern border. The Big Sandy rises in the Cumberlana mountains, and running in a northerly direction form? the boundary between Virginia and Kentucky, and falls into the Ohio, after a course of 200 miles. Cumberland river rises in the Cumberland mountains, near the sources of the Big Sandy, and running in a southwesterly direction, crosses the southern boundary of the state into Tennessee, where it makes a great bend, and assuming a northwesterly direction returns to Kentucky, and discharges itself into the Ohio, 10 miles above the mouth of Tennessee river, after a course of 600 miles, for 500 of which it i» navigable for boats.

The principal rivers which lie wholly within the state, beginning in the east, are, 1. Licking river, which rises in the Cumberland mountains, and running in a N. W. direction, discharges itself into the Ohio at Newport, opposite Cincinnati, after a course of 180 miles. In spring floods, it is navigable for 100 miles from its mouth, but for ten months out of twelve its navigation is of little value. 2. The Kentucky, which rises in the Cumberland mountains, near tbe sources of the Cumberland and the Licking, and running in a N. VV. direction, for 280 miles, discharges itself into the Ohio at Port William, 77 miles above the rapids at Louisville. It is navigable for boats of considerable size 180 miles, in the winter floods, its principal tributary is the Elkhorn, which joins it 8 miles below Frankfort. 3. Salt river, which falls into the Ohio 20 miles below Louisville, and is navigable 65 miles. On its banks are numerous salt licks. 4. Green river, which rises near the centre of the state, and running in a westerly direction for 280 miles, discharges itself into the Ohio., 120 miles below Louisville and 50 above the mouth of the Cumberland. It is navigable for boats nearly 200 miles.

Face of the Country, Soil and Productions.] The only mountains are the Cumberland range, which separate Kentucky from Virginia. The eastern counties are mountainous. A tract along the banks of the Ohio, from 5 to 20 miles wide, and extending through the whole length of the state, has a good soil, but is hilly and broken, except the lands immediately on the Ohio, for about one mile in width on an average, which are bottom lands, and subject to periodical inundations. Between this tract, the eastern counties and Green river, lies a 6ne country, which has been called the garden of the state. It is about 150 miles long, and from 50 to 100 miles wide, and comprises the counties of Mason, Fleming, Montgomery, Clarke, Bourbon, Fayette, Scott, Harrison, Franklin, Woodford, Mercer, Jessamine, Madison, Garrard, Casey, Lincoln, Washington and Green. The surface of this district is agreeably undulating, and the soil hjack and fertile. The country between Green and Cumberland rivers is called "the barrens." In 1800 the legislature of Kentucky made a grant of this tract to actual settlers, under the impression that it was of little value, but it proves to be excellent land; and hogs and cattle are raised here in abundance.

The whole state, below the mountains, rests on nn immense bed of lime stone, usually about 8 feet below the surface. There are every where apertures in this limestone, through which the waters of the livers sink into the earth. The large rivers of Kentucky, for this reason, are more diminished during the dry season, than those of any part of the United Slates, and the small streams entirely disappear. The banks of the rivers are natural curiosities. They have generally worn very deep channels in the calcareous rocks over which they flow. The precipices formed by Kentucky river are in many places awfully soblime,presenting perpendicular banks of 300 feet of solid limestone, surmounted with a steep and difficult ascent, four times as high. In the S. W. part of the state, between Green river and the Cumberland, there are several wonderful caves: one, called the Mammoth cave, is said to be 8 or 10 miles long.

The principal productions of Kentucky are hemp, tobacco, wheat and Indian corn. Salt springs are numerous, and supply Dot only this state, but a great part of Ohio and Tennessee with this mineral. Iron ore abounds in various places, but the metal is not of a good quality.

Chief Towns.] Frankfort, the capital of the state, is regularly laid out on the east side of Kentucky river, 60 miles above its confluence with the Ohio. The site of the town is a semicircular alluvial plain, from 150 to 200 feet lower than the table land in its rear. The river is here about 80 yards wide, and after heavy rains frequently rises 60 feet. Opposite Frankfort, and connected with it by a bridge, is South Frankfort, which is rapidly increasing. Steam boats of 300 tons come up the river as far as this place when the water is high, and most of the foreign goods consumed in Kentucky are landed here or at Louisville. Population, in 1020, 1,679.

Lexington, the largest town in the state, and the seat of Transylvania university, is delightfully situated, in a beautiful valley, on Town fork, a small stream which falls into the south branch of Elkhorn river, 25 miles E. S. E. of Frankfort. It is regularly laid out, and contains 3 banks ; and 7 houses of public worship, 3 for Presbyterians, and one each, for Episcopalians, Baptists, Methodists and Roman Catholics. The growih of the town has been exceedingly rapid. In 1797, it contained only about 50 houses, and the best farmers lived in log cabins. It is now a large and beautiful town, covered wilh stately ami elegant buildings, and in wealth and refinement is not surpassed by any place in the western country. The country around Lexington is much admired for the beauty of its scenery, and i« adorned with morn than 50 handsome country seats. The population of the town, in 1820, was 5.279.

Louisville is pleasantly situated on an elevated and beiutiful plain, on the south bank of the Ohio, immediately above tho rapids, and 50 miles west of Frankfort. It contains 3 banks ; a theatre; and 3 houses of public worship, 1 for Roman Catbo'ir.s,

;for Presbyterians and 1 lor Methodists. Among the minu'arurinjf establishments is a distillery, which yields I20U gallons a day, and is the most extensive establishment of the kind in the United States. Here are also 5 tobacco manufactories; a factory for the construction of steam engines, in which about 60 workmen are employed; a soap and candle manufactory, supposed to be the largest in the western country; a sugar refinery; a steam flour mill, and two steam saw milis. The commerce of Louisville and of Shippingport, which lies adjacent, has increased rapidly within a few years. There are uow upwards of 25 steam boajs, measuring together 6,050 tons, employed in their commerce. The population of Louisville, in 1820, was 4,012.

Shippingport is on the Ohio, 2 miles below Louisville, at the foot of the rapids, on a beautiful plain. It is the natural harbor and landing place for all vessels ascending the Ohio. During three-fourths of the year they of necessity stop here, which they ran do with perfect safety, as there is a basin immediately in front of the town, capable of containing any number of vessels, of any burden.

Riissellville, the capital of Logan county, is a flourishing town, in the midst of a very fertile country, and contained, in 1820, 1,712 inhabitants. Newport, the capital ofCampbell county, is on the Ohio, immediately above the mouth of Licking river, and opposite Cincinnati. An arsenal has been established here by the United States, with barracks for 2 or 3 regiments of soldiers. Bardstotrn, the capital of Nelson county, is on a branch of Salt river, 35 miles S. \V. of Frankfort. Here is a large Roman Catholic cathedral.

Canal.] The Ohio, at the rapids in Louisville, descends 22 feet in about (wo miles. Boats ascend, hut not without difficulty. The legislature of Kentucky, several years since, incorporated a company for opening a canal around these rapids; and, in 1816, the ground was surveyed, and the expense of a canal for vessels of 30 tons, was estimated at $240,000.

Education.] Transylvania university, in Lexington, was originally incorporated before the separation of Kentucky from Virginia. In 1818, it was re-organized under a board of 13 trustees, who are chosen biennially by the legislature. In 1820, its officers were a president and 8 professors, of whom 4 were medical professors; 3 tutors; 2 assistaut tutors, and the principal of the preparatory department. The number of students was 235, of whom 34 were medical students, and 99 in the preparatory department. The libiary contains about 3,000 volumes, and a considerable sum has been expended in the purchase of a chemical and philosophical apparatus.—A college was established, in 1819, at Danville, 33 miles S. S. W. of Lexington. It has 2 professors. Respectable schools and academies are increasing in the state, the result of individual exertions.

Population and Religion.] The population of the state, in 4790, was 73,677; in 1800, 220,959 ; in 1810, 406,611 ; and, in 1820, 564,317; having increased nearly eightfold in 30 years. .Of the whole population in 1820, 126,732 were slaves. The principal religious denominations are Baptists, Presbyterian* and

« PreviousContinue »