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***A long, deep-channeled, and clifty river, having its headsprings in the western spurs of the Cumberland Mountain, thence meandering, as it best could find its way, through an immense, but elevated, undulated plane, in a north-westwardly direction, and called by the Indians Kan-tuc-kee! with a strong emphasis, and which denominated the neighbouring forest, has been converted into KENTUCKY; and applied, by its present race of inhabitants, to the country, whose history we have undertaken to write.
"This country extends from latitude thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes north of the equator, along the great river Mississippi, and the placid Ohio, on the westward; and with the high and rugged top of the Cumberland Mountain on the south-eastward, as far as the Big Sandy River, which terminates its north-eastern boundary in its whole extent.
“The exterior form of this extensive territory is reducible to no mathematical definition; its sides are unequal in length, and its line of boundary exceedingly irregular. Its extreme points, east and west, embrace seven degrees of longitude; and its extent from south to north about two degrees and forty minutes of latitude.
“The superficial content of the country, is supposed to be fifty thousand square miles; it lies within the fifth climate; and its longest day is fourteen hours and forty minutes of time. Its surface is sufficiently variegated, and abundantly channeled by streams of water. The seasons are mild, and tbe atmosphere healthy. There are many hills, distinguished, in consequence of their magnitude and elevation, by the name of KNOBS. Other mountains there are none, exclusive of those immediately connected with the great Cumberland Mountain.
“Six large rivers, but of unequal size, traverse the country, having their sources towards the east, and uniting with the Ohio, on the north-western boundary. These are Lick. ing, the Kentucky, Salt-River, Green-River, Cumberland, and Tennesse Rivers; each affording navigable water for boats to considerable, but uneven distances, from the Ohio.
“Of the Cumberland River, KENTUCKY claims both extremities, but not the whole extent; of Tennessee, only the lower part
“This delightful country from time immemorial had been the resort of wild beasts, and of men, no less savage, when, in the year 1767, it was visited by John Finley and a few wandering white men, from the British colony of NorthCarolina; allured to the wilderness, by the love of hunting, and the desire of trading with the Indians, who were then understood to be at peace. These were a race of men, whose origin lies buried in the most profound obscurity; and who, notwithstanding their long intercourse with the European colonists, had not then arrived at the shepherd state of society; of course pot practised in the arts of agriculture and mechanics; but dependent, on fishing and hunting, by the men, and a scanty supply of maize, raised by the women, with imperfect instruments, for subsistence. Their cloathing they derived from the skins of wild animals, and the scanty supply of itinerant traders and pedlars, who at times resorted their towns. Sometimes at peace, but more generally at war, these Indians, however diversified by tribes, under one general characteristic, are active, vigilant, and enterprising, in their pursuits; of a dark red complexion; black hair, and eyes, straight limbs, and portly bodies; equally crafty, or brave, as circumstances require; and remarkable for the sagacity of their conceptions, and the eloquence of their speech.
6 Besides the distance of this country from the populous parts of the colonies, the almost continual wars with the Irdians, and the claim of the French to the regions of the Mississippi and Ohio, had prevented all attempts to explore it by public authority.”—Marshall's History of Kentucky, pages 1-3.
“In 1775, the people of Virginia, and the neighbouring colonies, being much better informed than before, of the country; and apprehending less danger from the Indians, in consequence of the recent peace, repaired to Kentucky in numerous small parties, for the purpose of selecting tracts for improvement, and future settlement. These improvements were made without intention of continued occupancy, and consisted principally in cutting the under brush and belting the larger trees-to which was sometimes added a log pen, called a cabin, with open top, or bark cover, as the foundation of future claim. Upon the approach of winter, these adventurers generally returned home, and contributed, by extending information of the country, to rouse up other adventurers, who the next summer made a like visit for like purposes; and after improving as others had done, returned home.
“In 1775, some permanent settlements were however made in the country, particularly at Harrodsburgh, Logans, and a few other places, under the auspices of Virginia, the adventurers being generally from that colony-besides the settlement at Boonsborough, wbich was made under the influence of Henderson and company, from North-Carolina." Murshall's History of Kentucky, pages 14 & 15.
“A road, sufficient for the passage of pack-horses in single file, having been opened from the settlements on Holston to Kentucky, by Daniel Boone; it was soon after trodden by other adventurers, with families.
“On the opposite side of the country, the river Ohio opened an avenue of easy access to emigrants; while the points at the mouth of Limestone, now MAYSVILLE, and at the month of Beargrass, now LOUISVILLE, were selected as landing places. Both ways were infested by Indians, and
rendered dangerous to travellers. During the year 1975, Boonesborough and Harrodsburgb were places of general rendezvous, and it is believed, the only places of safety for residents and travellers, to be found in the country. Nor were these safe beyond the walls of their respective forts, If other settlements were permitted to exist, it was more owing to their obscurity, than to their strength.
“About the month of September in this year, Harrodsburgh became the residence of several females, and some children. From this period we date the permanent settle. ment of this place; and are enabled to name Mrs. M'Ga- & ry, Mrs. Depton, and Mrs. Hogan, as the first white women who made their appearance in this new settlement, with # their husbands and families. Other families soon followed, and the social virtues found apother asylum in the midst of a savage wilderness.”-Marshall's History of Kentucky, page die 19 & 20.
This country, being originally within the chartered lim. its of Virginia, was first a part of the county of Fincastle; was next the county, then the district, and finally the state di of Kentucky. The circumstances under which civil and
the criminal law were first administered in Kentucky, are thus detailed by Marsball.
“The three counties of Kentucky had been erected into a separate district, and a new court of common law and 1: chancery jurisdiction, co-extensive with its limits, established therein. This court, besides the facilities which it offered of hearing and deciding land causes, originating in any part of the district; was also vested with powers of oyer and terminer in criminal cases. Which had become necessary in consequence of some recent instances of violence apd other irregalarities, and the increased probability of others in future.
""This court was opened at Harrodsburgh on the 3d of March, 1783, by virtue of a commission from Benjamin Harrison, Governor of Virginia, to John Floyd and Samuel
M'Dowell, who chose John May for their clerk, and qualibed Walker Daniel, who held a commission from the Gov. ernor, as Attorney General for the District of Kentucky.
“A Grand Jury was empannelled and sworn for the body of the District; who, in the course of their sitting, presented nine persons for selling spirituous liquors without license; eight for adultery and fornication; and the Clerk of Lincoln county for pot keeping up a table of bis fees.
“At this time there was no conyepient house in Harrodsburgh, within which the court could hold its sessions, and it adjourned to the meeting-house, near the Duch Station, six miles from Harrodsburgb.
"Walker Daniel and Jobn May were appointed by the Court to fix upon some safe place for holding the court in future, near Crow's Station; and authorized to employ per sons to build a log court-house, large enough for a courtroom in one end, and two jury-rooms in the other, on the same floor. They were also authorized to contract for the building of a prison, of bewed or sawed logs, at least pige inches thick. And in case the said Daniel and May, at their own expense, caused such buildings to be erected, the court engaged that they would adjourn to the place so to be fixed on; and promised a conditional reimbursement in case they removed to any other place, either out of the funds allowed for the support of the court, if sufficient; if not, by using their endeavours with the Legislature to have them paid.
“This had the desired effect; and Danville arose out of this speculation. At which place the District Court continued to held its sessions, until the separation from Virginia, when it was abolished.”—Marshall's History of Kentuc« ky, pages 102-134.
It is to the religious character of this interesting couny that the volume now offered to the public is chiefly det voted,--and whatever may be thought of the manner in which the work is executed, the subjeot itself will, it is