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Kentucky, According to the 1911 Encylopedia Britannia

East Kentucky Genealogy

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According to the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica





KENTUCKY, a South Central State of the United States of America, situated between 

36° 30' and 39° 6' N., and 82° and 89° 38' W. It is bounded N., N.W., and N.E. by 

Illinois, Indiana and Ohio; E. by the Big Sandy river and its E. fork, the Tug, which 

separates it from West Virginia, and by Virginia; S.E. and S. by Virginia and 

Tennessee; and W. by the Mississippi river, which separates it from Missouri. 

It has an area of 4.0,598 sq. m.; of this, 417 sq. m., including the entire breadth 

of the Ohio river, over which it has jurisdiction, are water surface.


Hypsography.-^From mountain heights along its eastern border :he surface of 

Kentucky is a north-western slope across two much dissected plateaus to a 

gracefully undulating lowland in the north central part and a longer western s

lope across the same plateaus to a lower and more level lowland at the western 

extremity. The narrow mountain belt is part of the western edge of the Appalachian 

Mountain Province in which parallel ridges of folded mountains, the Cumberland 

and the Pine, have crests 2000-3000 ft. high, and the Big Black Mountain rises 

to 4000 ft. The highest point in the state is The Double on the Virginia state line, 

in the eastern part of Harlan county with an altitude of over 4100 ft. The entire 

eastern quarter of the state, coterminous with the Eastern Kentucky coal-field, is 

commonly known as the region of the " mountains," but with the exception of the 

narrow area just described it properly belongs to the Allegheny Plateau Province. 

This plateau belt is exceedingly rugged with sharp ridges alternating with narrow 

valleys which have steep sides but are seldom more than 1500 ft. above the sea. 

The remainder of the state which lies east of the Tennessee river is divided into 

the Highland Rim Plateau and a lowland basin, eroded in the Highland Rim 

Plateau and known as the Bluegrass Region; this region is separated from the 

Highland Rim Plateau by a semicircular escarpment extending from Portsmouth, 

Ohio, at the mouth of the Scioto river, to the mouth of the Salt river below 

Louisville; it is bounded north by the Ohio river. The Highland Rim Plateau, 

lying to the south, east and west of the escarpment, embraces fully one-half of 

the state, slopes from elevations of 1000-1200 ft. or more in the east to about 

500 ft. in the north-west, and is generally much less rugged than the Allegheny 

Plateau; a peculiar feature of the southern portion of it is the numerous circular 

depressions (sink holes) in the surface and the cavernous region beneath. 

Kentucky is noted for its caves, the best-known of which are Mammoth Cave 

and Colossal Cavern (qq.v.). The caves are cut in the beds of limestone 

(lying immediately below the coal-bearing series) by streams that pass 

beneath the surface in the " sink holes," and according to Professor N. S. 

Shaler there are altogether " doubtless a hundred thousand miles of ways 

large enough to permit the easy passage of man." Down the steep slopes of 

the escarpment the Highland Rim Plateau drops 200 ft. or more to the famous 

Blue Grass Region, in which erosion has developed on limestone a gracefully

 undulating surface. This Blue Grass Region is like a beautiful park, without 

ragged cliffs, precipitous' slopes, or flat marshy bottoms, but marked by rounded 

hills and dales. Especially within a radius of 20 m. around Lexington, the country 

is clothed with an unusually luxuriant vegetation. During spring, autumn, and 

winter in particular, the blue-grass (Poa com-pressa and Poa pratensis) spreads 

a mat, green, thick, fine and soft, over much of the country, and it is a good winter 

pasture; about the middle of June it blooms, and, owing to the hue of its seed 

vessels, gives the landscape a bluish hue. Ancfther lowland area embraces 

that small part of the state in the extreme south-east which lies west of the 

Tennessee river; this belongs to that part of the Coastal Plain Region which 

extends north along the Mississippi river; it has in Kentucky an average 

elevation of less than 500 ft. Most of the larger rivers of the state have their 

sources among the mountains or on the Allegheny Plateau and flow more or 

less circuitously in a general north-western direction into the Ohio. Although

 deep river channels are common, falls or impassable rapids are rare west 

of the Allegheny Plateau, and the state has an extensive mileage of navigable 

waters. The Licking, Kentucky, Green and Tradewater are the principal rivers 

wholly within the state. The Cumberland, after flowing for a considerable 

distance in the south-east and south central part of the state, passes into Tennessee 

at a point nearly south of Louisville, and in the extreme south-west the 

Cumberland and the Tennessee, with only a short distance between them,

 cross Kentucky and enter the Mississippi at Smithland and Paducah respectively. 

The drainage of the region under which the caverns lie is mostly underground.


Fauna and Flora.—The first white settlers found great numbers of buffaloes, deer,

elks, geese, ducks, turkeys and partridges, also many bears, panthers, lynx, wolves, 

foxes, beavers, otters, minks, musk-rats, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, woodchucks, 

opossums and skunks, and the streams were inhabited by trout, perch, buffalo-fish, 

sun-fish, mullet, eels, and suckers. Of the larger game there remain only a few deer, 

bears and lynx in the mountain districts, and the numbers of small game and fish have 

been greatly reduced. In its primeval state Kentucky was generally well timbered, but 

must of the middle section has been cleared and here the blue grass is now the dominant 

feature of the flora. Extensive forest areas still remain both in the east and the west, In the 

east oak, maple, beech, chestnut, elm, tulip-tree (locally “yellow poplar “), walnut, pine 

and cedar trees are the most numerous; in the west the forests are composed largely of 

cypress, ash, oak, hickory, chestnut, walnut, beech, tulip-tree, gum and sycamore trees. 

Locust, pawpaw, cucumber, buck-eye, black mulberry and wild cherry trees also abound, 

and the grape, raspberry and strawberry are native fruits.


Climate.—The climate is somewhat’ more mild and even than that of the neighboring 

states. The mean annual temperature, about 50° F. on the mountains in the S. E., and 60° W. 

of the Tennessee, is about 55° F. for the entire state; the thermometer seldom registers as

 high as 100° or as low as—b0. The mean annual precipitation ranges from about 38 in. 

in the north-east to 50 in. in the south, and is about 46 in. for the entire state; it is usually 

distributed evenly throughout the year and very little is in the form of snow. The 

prevailing winds blow from the west or south-west; rain-bearing winds blow mostly 

from the south; and the cold waves come from the north or north-west.


Soil—The best soils are the alluvium in the bottom-lands along some of the larger 

rivers and that of the Blue Grass Region, which is derived from a limestone rich in 

organic matter (containing phosphorus) and rapidly decomposing. The soil within a 

radius of some 20 m. around Lexington is especially rich; outside of this area the Blue 

Grass soil is less rich in phosphorus and contains a larger mixture of sand. The soils 

of the Highland Rim Plateau as well as of the lowland west of the Tennessee river 

vary greatly, but the most common are a clay, containing more or less carbonate of 

lime, and a sandy loam. On the escarpment around the Blue Grass Region the soils are 

for the most part either cherty or stiff with clay and of inferior quality. On the mountains 

and on the Allegheny Plateau, also, much of the soil is very light and thin.


Agriculture—Kentucky is chiefly an agricultural state. Of the 752,53! of its inhabitants 

who, in 1900, were engaged in some gainful occupation, 408,185 or 54~2 %, were 

agriculturists, and of its total land surface 21,979,422 acres, or 85~9 %, were included 

in farms. The percentage of improved farm land increased from 35~2 in 1850 to 49’9 

in 1880 and to 62~5 in 1900. The number of farms increased from 74,777 in 1850 to 

166,453 in 1880 and to 234,667 in 1900; and their average size decreased from 2267 

acres in 1850 to I29~f acres in 1880 and to 93’7 acres in 1900, these changes being 

largely due to the breaking up of slave estates, the introduction of a considerable number

 of Negro farmers, and the increased cultivation of tobacco and market-garden produce. 

In the best stock-raising country, e.g. in Fayette county, the opposite tendency prevailed 

during the latter part of this period and old farms of a few hundred acres were combined 

to form some vast estates of from 2000 to 4000 acres. Of the 234,667 farms in 1900, 

155,189 contained less than 100 acres, 76,450 contained between boo and 500 acres, 

and 558 contained more than 1000 acres; 152,216 or 64’86%, were operated by owners 

or part owners, of whom 5320 were Negroes; 16776 by cash tenants, of whom 789 were 

Negroes; and 60,289 by share tenants, of whom 4984 were Negroes. In 1900 the value of 

farm land and improvements was $291,117,430; of buildings on farms, $90,887,460; of 

livestock, $73,739,106. In the year 1899 the value of all farm products was $123,266,785 

(of which $21,128,530 was the value of products fed to livestock), including the following

 items: crops, $74,783,365; animal products, $44,303,940; and forest products, $4,179,840. 

The total acreage of all crops in 1899 was 6,582,696. Indian corn is the largest and most

 valuable crop. As late as 1849, when it produced 58,672,591 bu., Kentucky was the

 second largest Indian corn producing state in the Union. In 1899 the crop had 

increased to 73,974,220 bu. and the acreage was 3,319,257 (more than half the 

acreage of all crops in the state), but the rank had fallen to ninth in product and 

eleventh in acreage; in 1909 (according to the Yearbook of the United States 

Department of Agriculture) the crop was 103472,000 bu. (ninth among the states of 

the United States), and the acreage was 3,568,000 (twelfth among the ‘states). 

Among the cereals wheat is the next largest crop; it increased from 2,142,822 bu. 

in 1849 to If,356,113 bu. in 1879, and to 14,264,500 bu. in 1899; in 1909 it was only 

7,906,000 bu. The crop of each of the other cereals is small and in each case was less 

in 1899 than in 1849. The culture of tobacco, which is the second most valuable crop 

in the state, was begun in the north part about 1780 and in the west and south early in 

the 19th century, but it was late in that century before it was introduced to any 

considerable extent in the Blue Grass Region, where it was then in a measure 

substituted for the culture of hemp. By 1849 Kentucky ranked second only to 

Virginia in the production of tobacco, and in 1899 it was far ahead of any other 

state in both acreage and yield, there being in that year 384,805 acres, which was 

3~~9 % of the total acreage in the continental United States, yielding 314,288,050 lb. 

As compared with the state’s Indian corn crop of that year, the acreage was only a 

little more than one-ninth, but the value ($18,541,982) was about 63%. In 1909 the 

tobacco acreage in Kentucky was 420,000, the crop was 350,700,000 ib, valued at

$37,174,200; the average price per pound had increased from 5~9 cents in 1899 to 

Icr6 cents in 1909. The two most important tobacco growing districts are: the Black 

‘Patch, in the extreme south-west corner of the state, which with the adjacent counties 

in Tennessee grows a black heavy leaf bought almost entirely by the agents of foreign 

governments’ (especially Austria, Spain and Italy) and called regie “tobacco; and the 

Blue Grass Region, as far east as Maysville, and the hill country south and east, whose 

product, the red and white Burley, is a fine-fibred light leaf, peculiarly absorbent of 

licorice and other adulterants used in the manufacture of sweet chewing tobacco, and

 hence a peculiarly valuable crop, which formerly averaged 22 cents a pound for all 

grades. The high price received 'by the hill growers of the Burley induced farmers in the 

Blue Grass to plant Burley tobacco there, where the crop proved a great success, more 

than twice as much (sometimes 2000 ib) being grown to the acre in the Blue Grass as in the 

hills and twice as large patches 'being easily managed. In the hill country the share tenant 

could usually plant and cultivate only four acres of tobacco, had to spend 12o days working 

the crop, and could use the same land for tobacco only once in six years. So, although a 

price of 6~5 cents a pound covered expenses of the planter of Burley in the Blue Grass, 

who could use the same land for tobacco once in four years, this price did not repay 

he hill planter. The additional production of the Blue Grass Region sent the price of 

Burley tobacco down to’ this figure and below it. The planters in the Black Patch 

had met a combination of the buyers by forming a pool, the Planters’ Protective 

Association, into whirl? 40,000 growers were forced by “night-riding” and other

 forms of coercion and persuasion, and had thus secured an advance to II cents a 

pound from the “regie “ buyers and had shown the efficacy of pooling methods in 

securing better prices for the tobacco crop. Following their example, the planters 

of the Burley farmed the Burley Tobacco Society, a Burley pool, with headquarters at 

Winchester and associated with the American Society’ of Equity, which promoted in 

general the pooling of different crops throughout the country. The tobacco planters 

secured legislation favorable to the formation of crop pools. The Burley Tobacco 

Society attempted to pool the entire crop and thus force the buyers of the American 

Tobacco Company of New Jersey (which usually bought more than three-fourths of 

the crop of Burley) to pay a much higher price for it. In 1906 and in 1907 the crop was 

very large; the pool sold its lower grades of the 1906 crop at 16 cents a pound ‘to the 

American Tobacco Company and forced the independent buyers out of business; and 

the Burley Society decided in 1907 to grow no more tobacco until the 1906 and 1907 

crops were sold, making the price high enough to pay for this period of idleness. 

Members of the pool had used force to bring planters into the pool; and now some 

tobacco growers, especially in the hills, planted new crops in the hope of immediate 

return, and a new “ night-riding” war was begun on them. Bands of masked men 

rode about the country both in the Black Patch and in the Burley, burning tobacco

 houses of the independent planters, scraping their newly-planted tobacco patches, 

demanding that planters join their organization or leave the country, and whipping or 

shooting the recalcitrant. Governor Wilson, immediately after his inauguration, took 

measures to suppress disorder. In general the Planters’ Protective Association in the 

Black Patch was more successful in its pool than the Burley Tobacco Society in its, and 

there was more violence in~ the “regie “ than in the “ Burley district. In November 

1908 the lawlessness subsided in the ‘Burley after the agreement of the American 

Tobacco Company to purchase the remainder of the 1906 crop at a “ round “ price of 

203/4 cents and a part of the 1907 crop at an average price of 17 cents, thus making it 

profitable to raise a full crop in 1909.


Kentucky is the principal hemp-growing state of the Union; the crop of I899, which was 

grown on 14,107 acres and amounted to 10,303,560 Ib, valued at $468,454, was 

87~7 % of the hemp crop of the whole country. But the competition of cheaper 

labor in other countries reduced the profits on this plant and the product of 1899 was 

a decrease from 78,818,000 lb in 1859. Hay and forage, the fourth in value of the state’s 

crops in 1899, were grown on 683,139 acres and amounted to 776,534 tons, valued at 

$6,100,647; in 1909 the acreage of hay was 480,000 and the crop of 653,000 tons was 

valued at $7,771,000. In 1899 the total value of fruit grown in Kentucky was $2,491,457 

(making the state rank thirteenth among the states of the Union in the value of this product),

 ‘of which $1,943,645 was the value of orchard fruits and $435,462 that of small fruits.

 Among fruits, apples are produced in greatest abundance, 6,053,717 bu. in 1899, 

an amount exceeded in only nine states; in 1889 the crop had been 10,679,389 bu. and 

was exceeded only by the crop of Ohio and by that of Michigan. Kentucky also grows 

considerable quantities of cherries, pears, plums and peaches, and, for its size, ranks 

high in its crops of strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. Indian corn is grown in 

all parts of the state but most largely in the western portion. Wheat is grown both in the 

Blue Grass Region and farther west; and the best country for fruit is along the Ohio river 

between Cincinnati and Louisville and in the hilly land surrounding the Blue Grass 

Region. In the eastern part of the state


North of the Black Patch is a district in which is grown a heavy-leaf tobacco~ a large part 

of which is shipped to Great ‘Britain; and farther north and east a dark tobacco is grown for the American market. where tops are generally light, Indian corn, oats and potatoes are the principal products, hut tobacco, flax and cotton are grown. The thoroughbred Kentucky horse has long had a world-wide reputation for speed; and the Blue Grass Region, especially Fayette, Bourbon and Woodford counties, is probably the finest horse-breeding region in America and has large breeding farms. In Fayette county, in 

1900, the average value of colts between the ages of on&and two years was $377.78. 

In the Blue Grass Region many thoroughbred shorthorn cattle and fine mules are raised. The numbers of horses, mules, cattle and sheep increased quite steadily from 1850 to 

1900, but the number of swine in 1880 and in 1900 was nearly one-third less than in 1850. In 1900 the state had 497,245 horses, 198,1 Iomules,364,025 dairy cows,755,7I4 other

neat cattle, 1,300,832 sheep and 2,008,989 swine; in 1910 there were in Kentucky 

407,000 horses, 207,000 mules, 394,000 milch cows, 665,000 other neat cattle, 

1,060,000 sheep and 989,000 swine. The principal sheep-raising counties in 1905 

were Bourbon, Scott and Harrison, and the principal hog-raising counties were 

Graves, Hardin, Ohio, Union and Hickman.


Forests and Timber.—More than one-half of the state (about 22,200 sq. m.) was in 

1900 still wooded. In 1900 of the total cut of 777,218 M. ft., B.M., 392,804 were white 

oak and 279,740 M. ft. were tulip-tree. Logging is the principal industry of several localities,especially in the east, and the lumber product of the state increased in value from 

$5,502,434 in 1850 to $4,064,361 in 1880, and to $13,774,911 in 1900. The factory product 

in 1900 was valued at $13,338,533 and in 1905 at $14,539,000. In 1905 of a total of

586,371 M. ft., B.M., of sawed lumber, 295,776 M. ft. were oak and 553,057 M. ft. were 

“ poplar.”


The planing mill industry is increasing rapidly, as it is found cheaper to erect mills near 

the forests; between 1900 and 1905 the capital of planing mills in the state increased If 

7~2 % and the value of products increased 142’8 %.


Manufactures.—Kentucky's manufactures are principally those for which the products 

of her farms and forests furnish the raw material. The most distinctive of these is 

probably distilled liquors, the state’s whisky being famous. A colony of Roman Catholic 

immigrants from Maryland settled in 1787 along the Salt river about 50 m. S.S.E. of 

Louisville and with the surplus of their Indian corn crop made whisky, a part of which 

they sold at settlements on the Ohio and the Mississippi. The industry was rapidly 

developed by distillers, who immediately after the suppression of the Whisky 

Insurrection, in 1794, removed from Pennsylvania and settled in what is now 

Mason county and was then a part of Bourbon county-the product is still known as 

“ Bourbon “ whisky. During the first half of the 19th century the industry became of 

considerable local importance in all parts of the state, but since the Civil War the 

heavy tax imposed has caused its concentration in large establishments. In 1900 nearly 

40% and in 1905 more than one-third of the state’s product was distilled in Louisville. 

Good whisky is made in Maryland and in parts of Pennsylvania from rye, but all efforts 

in other states to produce from Indian corn a whisky equal to the Bourbon have failed, 

and it is probable that the quality of the Bourbon is largely due to the character of the 

Kentucky lime water and the Kentucky yeast germs. The average annual product of the 

state from 1880 to I900 was about 20,000,000 gallons; in 1900 the product was valued 

at $9,786,527; in 1905 at $11,204,649. In 1900 and in 1905 Kentucky ranked fourth 

among the states in the value of distilled liquors. The total value of all manufactured products of the state increased from $126,719,857 in 1890 to $154,166,365 in 1900, or 21.7%, and from 1900 to 5905 the value of factory-made products alone increased from 

$126,508,660 to $159,753,968, or 26.3%.i Measured by the value of the product, flour 

and grist mill products rose from third in rank in 1900 to first in rank in 1905, from 

$13,017,043 to $18,007,786, or 38~3 %; and chewing and smoking tobacco and snuff 

fell during the same period from first to third in rank, from $14,948,I92 to $13,117,000,

 or 12.3%; in 1900 Kentucky was second, in 1905 third, among the states in the value 

of this product. Lumber and timber products held second rank both in 1900 ($13,~38,533) 

and in 1905 ($14,539,000). Distilled liquors were fourth in rank in 1900 and in 1905. 

Men’s clothing rose from tenth in rank in 1900 to fifth in rank in 1905, from 83,420,365 

to 86,279.078,’ or 83.6%. Other important manufactures, with their product values in 1900 

and in 1905 are iron and steel ($5,004,572 in i~oo; $6,167,542 in 1905); railway cars 

($4,248,029 in 1900; $5,739,071 in 1905); packed meat’ ($5,177,167 in 19o0; $5,693,731 

in 1905); foundry and machine shor products ($4,434,610 in 1~oo; $4,699,559 in 1905); 

planing mil products, including sash, doors and blinds ($1,891,517 in 1900 ~4,593,25I 

in 1905—an increase already remarked); carriages and wagons ($2,849,753 in 1900; 

$4,059,438 in 1905); tanned and curried leather ($3,757,016 in i~oo; $3,952,277 in 1905); 

and malt liquor ($3,186,627 in 19o0; $3,673,678 in 1905). Other important manu factures 

(each with a product value in 1905 of more than one million dollars) were cotton-seed oil 

and cake (in 1900 Kentucky was fifth and in 1905 sixth among the states in the value of 

cotton-seed oil am cake), cooperage, agricultural implements, boots and shoes, cigar


i In the census of 1905 statistics for other than factory-mad products, such as t~bse of the 

hand trades, were not included. and cigarettes, saddlery and harness, patent medicines and compounds, cotton goods, furniture, confectionery, carriage and wagon materials, wooden 

packing boxes, woolen goods, pottery and terra cotta ware, structural iron-work, and 

turned and carved wood.


Louisville is the great manufacturing centre, the value of its products amounting in 

1905 to $83,204,125, 52.1 % of the product of the entire state, and showing an increase 

of 25~9 % over the value of the city’s factory products iii 1900. Ashland is the principal 

centre of the iron industry.


Minerals.—The mineral resources of Kentucky are important and valuable, though 

very little developed. The value of all manufactures in 1900 was $154,166,365, and 

the value of manufactures based upon products of mines or quarries in the same year 

was $25,204,788; the total value of mineral products was $19,294,341 in 1907. 

Bituminous coal is the principal mineral, and in 1907 Kentucky ranked eighth among 

the coal-producing states of the Union; the output in 1907 amounted to 10,753,124 short 

tons, and in 1902 to 6,766,984 short tons as compared with 2,399,755 tons produced in

1889. In 1902 the amount was about equally divided between the eastern coalfield, which 

is for the most part in Greenup, Boyd, Carter, Lawrence, Johnson, Lee, Breathitt, 

Rockcastle, Pulaski, Laurel, Knox, Bell and Whitley counties, and has an area of about 

11,180 sq. m., and the western coalfield, which is in Henderson, Union, Webster, 

Daviess, Hancock, McLean, Ohio, Hopkins, Butler, Muhlenberg and Christian counties, 

and has an area of 5800 sq. m. In 1907 the output of the western district was 6,295,397 

tons; that of the eastern, 4,457,727. The largest coal-producing counties in 1907 were 

Hopkins (2,064,154 short tons) and Muhlenberg (1,882,913 short tons) in the western 

coalfield, and Bell (1,437,886 short tens) and Whitley (762,923 short tons) in the 

south-western part of the eastern coalfield. All Kentucky coal is either bituminous or semi-bituminous, but of several varieties. Of cannel coal Kentucky is the largest 

producer in the Union, its output for 1902 being 65,317 short tons, and, according to 

state reports, for 1903, 72,856 tons (of which 46,354 tons were from Morgan county), 

and for 1904, 68,400 tons (of which 52,492 tons were from Morgan county); according 

to the Mineral Resources of the United States for 1907 (published by the United States 

Geological Survey) the production of Kentucky in 1907 of cannel coal (including 4650 

tons of semi-cannel coal) was 77,733 tons, and exclusive of semi-cannel coal the output 

of Kentucky was much larger than that of any other state. Some of the coal mined in eastern Kentucky is an excellent steam producer, especially the Jellico coal of Whitley county, Kentucky, and of Campbell county, Tennessee. But with the exception of that mined in Hopkins and Bell counties, very little is fit for making coke; in 1880 the product was 4250 tons of coke (value $12,250), in 1890, 12,343 tons ($22,191); in 1900, 95,532 

tons ($235,505); in 1902, 126,879 tons ($317,875), the maximum product up to 1906; \and in 1907, 67,068 tons ($157,288). Coal was first mined in Kentucky in Laurel or Pulaski 

county in 1827; between 1829 and 1835 the annual output was from 2000 to 6000 tons; 

in 1840 it was 23,527 tons and in 1860 it was 285,760 tons. Petroleum was discovered 

on Little Rennick’s Creek, near Burkesyule, in Cumberland county, in 1829, when a 

flowing oil well (the “American well,” whose product was sold as “American oil” to

heal rheumatism, burns, &c.) was struck by men boring for a “salt well,” and after a second discovery in the ‘sixties at the mouth of Crocus Creek a small but steady amount 

of oil was got each year. Great pipe lines from Parkersburg, West Virginia, to Somerset, 

Pulaski county, and with branches to the Ragland, Barbourville and Prestonsburg fields, 

had in 1902 a mileage of 275 m. The principal fields are in the “southern tier,” 

from Wayne to Allen county, including Barren county; farther east, Knox county, and 

Floyd and Knott counties; to the north-east the Ragland field in Bath and Rowan 

counties on the Licking river. In 1902 the petroleum produced in the state amounted 

to 248,950 barrels, valued at $172,837, a gain in quantity of 81.4% over 1901. 

Kentucky is the S.W. extreme of the natural gas region of the west flank of the 

Appalachian system; the greatest amount is found in Martin county in the east, 

and Breckinridge county in the north-west. The value of the state’s natural gas 

output increased from $38,993 in 1891 to $99,000 in 1896, $286,243 in 1900, 

$365,611 in 1902, and $380,176 in 1907. Iron- ore has been found in several counties, 

and an iron furnace was built in Bath county, in the N. E. part of the state, as early as

1791, but since 1860 this mineral has received little attention. In 1902 it was mined only 

in Bath, Lyon and Trigg counties, of which the total product was 71,006 long tons, valued 

at only $86,169; in 1904 only 35,000 tons were mined, valued at the mines at $35,000.

In 1898 there began an increased activity in the mining of fluorspar, and Crittendon, Fayette 

and Livingston counties produce in 1902, 29,030 tons (valued at $143,410) of this mineral, 

In I901 30,835 tons (valued at $153,960) and in 1904 19,096 tons (value at $111,499),

 amounts (and values) exceeding those produced is any other state for these years; but in 

1907 the quantity (21,051 tons) was less than the output of Illinois. Lead and zinc are 

mine in small quantities near Marion in Crittenden county and elsewhere in connation 

with mining for fluorspar; in 1907 the output was - 75 tons of lead valued at $7950 and 

358 tons of zinc valued a $42,244. Jefferson, Jessamine, Warren, Grayson and 

Caldwell counties have valuable quarries of an excellent light-colored öolitic limestone, 

resembling the Bedford limestone of Indiana, and best known under the name of the 

finest variety, the “Bowling Green stone “ of Warren county; and sandstones good for 

structural purposes are found in both coal regions, and especially in Rowan county. In 

1907 the total value of limestone quarried in the state was $891,500, and of all stone, 

$1,002,450. Fire and pottery clay and cement rock also abound within the state. The 

value of clay products was $2,406,350 in 1905 (when Kentucky was tenth among the 

states) and was $2,611,364 in 1907 (when Kentucky was eleventh among the states). 

The manufacture of cement was begun in 1829 at Shipping port, a suburb of Louisville, 

whence the natural cement of Kentucky and Indiana, produced within a radius of 15 m. 

from Louisville, is called “ Louisville cement.” In 1905 the value of natural cement 

manufactured in the state (according to the United States Geological Survey) was -only 

$83,000. The manufacture of Portland cement is of greater importance.


There are mineral springs, especially salt springs, in various parts of the state, 

particularly in the Blue Grass Region; these are now of comparatively little economic 

importance; no salt was reported among the state’s manufactures for 1905, and in 1907 

only 736,920 gallons of mineral waters were bottled for sale. Historically and 

geologically, however, these springs are of considerable interest. According to 

Professor N. S. Shaler, state geologist in 1873—1880, “When the rocks whence they 

flow were formed on the Silurian sea-floors, a good deal of the sea-water was 

imprisoned in the strata, between the grains of sand or mud and in the cavities of the 

shells that make up a large part of these rocks. This confined sea-water is gradually 

being displaced by the downward sinking of the rain-water through the rifts of the 

strata, and thus finds its way to the surface: so that these springs offer to us a share 

of the ancient seas, in which perhaps a hundred million of years ago the rocks of 

Kentucky were laid down.” To these springs in prehistoric and historic times came 

annually great numbers of animals for salt, and in the marshes and swamps around 

some of them, especially Big Bone Lick (in Boone county, about 20 m. S.W. of 

Cincinnati) have been found many bones of extinct mammals, such as the mastodon 

and the long legged bison The early settlers and the Indians came to the springs to shoot 

large game for food, and by boiling the waters the settlers obtained valuable supplies 

of salt. Several of the Kentucky springs have been somewhat frequented as summer resorts; 

among these are the Blue Lick in Nicholas county (about 48 m. N.E. of Lexington), 

Harrodsburg, Crab Orchard in Lincoln county (about 115 m. S.E. of Louisville), Rock 

Castle springs in Pulaski county (about 23 m. E. of Somerset) and Paroquet Springs 

(near Shepherdsville, Bullitt county), which was a well-known resort before the Civil War, 

and near which, at Bullitt Lick, the first salt works in Kentucky are said to have been 



Pearls are found in the state, especially in the Cumberland River, and it is supposed that 

there are diamonds in the kimberlitic deposits in Elliott county.


Transportation.—Kentucky in 1909 had 3,503.98 m. of railway. Railway building was 

begun in the state in 1830, and in 1835 the first train drawn by a steam locomotive ran 

from Lexington to Franklin, a distance of 27 m. Not until 1851 was the line completed to 

Louisville. Kentucky’s trade during the greater part of the i9th century was very largely with the South, and with the facilities which river navigation afforded for this the development of a railway system was retarded. Up to 1880 the railway mileage had increased to only 1,530; but during the next ten years it increased to 2,942, and railways were in considerable measure substituted for water craft. The principal lines are the Louisville & Nashville, the Chesapeake & Ohio, the Illinois Central, and the Cincinnati Southern (Queen & Crescent route). Most of the lines run south or south-west from Cincinnati and Louisville, and the east border of the state still has a small railway mileage and practically no wagon roads, most of the travel being on horseback. The wagon roads of the Blue Grass Region are excellent, because of the plentiful and cheap supply of stone for road building. The assessment of railway property, and in some measure the regulation of railway rates, are entrusted to a state railway commission.


Population.—The population of Kentucky in 188oi was 1,648,690; in 1890, 1,858,635, an 

increase within the decade of I 2.7%; in 1900 it was 2,147,174; and in 1910 it had reached 2,289,905. Of the total population of 1900, 284,865 were colored and 50,249 were 

foreign-born; of the colored, 284,706 were Negroes, 102 were Indians, and 57 were Chinese; of the foreign-born, 27,555 were natives of Germany, 9874 were natives of Ireland, and 3256 were natives of England. Of the foreign born, 21,427, or 42.6%, were inhabitants of the city of Louisville, leaving a population outside of this city of which 98.4%

For a full account of the “licks,” see vol. i. pt. ii. of the Memoirs of the Kentucky 

Geological Survey (1876).


2 The population of the state at the previous censuses was: 73,677 in 1790; 220,955 in 1800; 406,511 in i81o; 564,317 in 1820; 687,9i7 in 1830; 779,828  in 1840; 982,405 in 

1850; 1,155,684 in 1860 and 1,321,011 in 1870. were native born. 


The rugged east section of the state, a part of Appalachian America, is inhabited by a 

people of marked characteristics, portrayed in the fiction of Miss Murfree (“ Charles 

Egbert Craddock “) and John Fox, Jr. They are nearly all of British—English and Scotch-Irish—descent, with a trace of Huguenot. They have good native ability, but 

through lack of communication with the outside world their progress has been retarded. 

Before the Civil War they were owners of land, but for the most part not owners of slaves, 

so that a social and political barrier, as well as the barriers of nature, separated them 

from the other inhabitants of the state. In their speech several hundred words persist 

which elsewhere have been obsolete for three centuries or occur only in dialects in 

England. Their life is still in many respects very primitive; their houses are generally 

built of logs, their clothes are often of homespun, Indian corn and ham form a large 

part of their diet, and their means of transportation are the saddle-horse and sleds and 

wheeled carts drawn by oxen or mules. In instincts and in character, also, the typical 

“mountaineers” are to a marked degree primitive; they are, for the most part, very 

ignorant; they are primitively hospitable and are warm-hearted to friends and strangers,

 but are implacable in their enmities and are prone to vendettas and family feuds, which 

often result in the killing in open fight or from ambush of members of one faction by

 members of another; and their relative seclusion and isolation has brought them, 

especially in some districts, to a disregard for law, or to a belief that they must execute 

justice with their own hands. This appears particularly in their attitude toward revenue 

officers sent to discover and close illicit stills for the distilling from Indian corn of 

so-called “moon-shine” whisky (consisting largely of pure alcohol). The taking of

 life and “moon-shining,” however, have become less and less frequent among them, 

and Berea College, at Berea, the Lincoln Memorial University, and other schools 

in Kentucky and adjoining states have done much to educate them and bring them more 

in harmony with the outside community.


The population of Kentucky is largely rural. However, in the decade between 1890 and 

1900 the percentage of urban population (i.e. population of places of 4000 inhabitants 

or more) to the total population increased from I7~5 to I9~7 and the percentage of 

semi urban (i.e. population of incorporated places with a population of less than 4000) 

to the total increased from 8’86 to 9’86 %; but 483 % of the urban population of 1900 

was in the city of Louisville. In 1910 the following cities each had a population of more 

than 5000. Louisville (223,928), Covington (53,270), Lexington (35,099), Newport 

(30,309), Paducah (22,760), Owensboro (16,011), Henderson (11,452), Frankfort, 

the capital (10,465), Hopkinsville (9419), Bowling Green (9173), Ashland (8688), 

Middlesboro (7305), Winchester (7156), Dayton (6979), Bellevue (6683), Maysville 

(6141), Mayfield (5916), Paris (5859), Danville (5420), Richmond (5340). Of 

historical interest are Harrodsburg (q.v.), the first, permanent settlement in the state, 

and Bardstown (pop. in 1900, 1711), the county-seat of Nelson county. Bardstown 

was settled about 1775, largely by Roman Catholics from Maryland. It was the see 

of a Roman Catholic bishop from 1810 to 1841, and the seat of St Joseph’s College 

(Roman Catholic) from 1824 to 1890; and was for some time the home of John Fitch 

(1743—1798), the inventor, who built his first boat here. The Nazareth Literary and 

Benevolent Institution, at Nazareth (2 m. N. of Bardstown), was founded in 1829 and is 

a well-known Roman Catholic school for girls. Boonesborough, founded by Daniel 

Boone in 1775, in what is now Madison county, long ago ceased to exist, though a 

railway station named Boone, on the Louisville & Nashville railroad, is near the site 

of the old settlement.


In 1906 there were 858,324 communicants of different religious denominations in the 

state, including 311,583 Baptists, 165,908 Roman Catholics, 156,007 Methodists, 

136,110 Disciples of Christ, 47,822 Presbyterians and 8091 Protestant Episcopalians.

Administration.—Kentucky is governed under a constitution adopted in 1891.I A 

convention to revise the constitution or to draft a new one meets on the call of two 

successive legislatures, ratified by a majority of the popular vote, provided that 

majority be at least one-fourth of the total number of votes cast at the preceding

general election. Ordinary amendments are proposed by a three-fifths majority in 

each house, and are also subject to popular approval. With the usual exceptions 

of criminals,


1 There were three previous constitutions—those of I 792r 799 and 1850. idiots and 

insane persons, all male citizens of the United States, who are’ at least 21 years Of age, 

and have lived in the state one year, in the county six months, and in the voting precinct 

sixty days next preceding the election, are entitled to vote. The legislature provides by 

law for registration in cities of the first, second, third and fourth classes—the minimum 

population for a city of the fourth class being 3000. Corporations are forbidden to 

contribute money for campaign purposes on penalty of forfeiting their charters, or, if 

not chartered in the state, their right to carry on business in the state. The executive is 

composed of a governor, a lieutenant-governor, a treasurer, an auditor of public accounts, 

a register of the land office, a commissioner of’ agriculture, labor, and statistics, a 

secretary of state, an attorney-general and a superintendent of public instruction. All 

are chosen by popular vote for four years and are ineligible for immediate re-election, 

and each must be at least 30 years of age and must have been a resident citizen of the 

state for two years next preceding his election. If a vacancy occurs in the office of 

governor during the first two, years a new election is held; if it occurs during the last 

two years the lieutenant-governor serves out the term. Lieutenant-governor Beckham, 

elected in 1900 to fill out the unexpired term of Governor Goebel (assassinated in 

1900), was re-elected in 1903, the leading lawyers of the state holding that the 

constitutional inhibition on successive terms did not apply in such a case.


The governor is commander-in-chief of the militia when it is not called into the service 

of the United States; he may remit fines and forfeitures, commute sentences, and grant 

reprieves and pardons, except in cases of impeachment; and he calls extraordinary 

sessions of the legislature. His control of patronage, however, is not extensive and 

his veto power is very weak. He may veto any measure, including items in appropriation 

bills, but the legislature can repass such a measure by a simple majority of the total 

membership in each house. Among the various state administrative boards are the 

board of equalization of five members, the board of Health of nine members, a board 

of control of state institutions with four members (bipartisan), and the railroad commission, 

the prison commission, the state election commission and the sinking fund commission 

of three members each. Legislative power is vested in a General Assembly, which consists 

of a Senate and a House of Representatives. Senators are elected for four years, 

one-half retiring every two years; representatives are elected for two years. The minimum age for a representative is 24 years, for a senator 30 years. There are thirty-eight senators and one hundred representatives. The Senate sits as a court for the trial of impeachment cases. A majority of either house constitutes a quorum, but as regards ordinary bills, on the third reading, not only must they receive a majority of the quorum, but that majority must be at least two-fifths of the total membership of the house. For the enactment of appropriation bills and bills creating a debt a majority of the total membership in each house is required. All revenue measures must originate in the House of Representatives but the Senate may introduce amendments. There are many detailed restrictions on local and special legislation. The constitution provides for local option elections on the liquor question in counties, cities, towns and precincts; in 1907, out of  9  counties 87 had voted for prohibition.


The judiciary consists of a court of appeals, circuit courts, quarterly courts, county courts, 

justice of the peace courts, police courts and fiscal courts. The court of appeals is 

composed of from five to seven judges (seven in 1909), elected, one from each 

appellate district, for a term of eight years. The senior judge presides as chief 

justice and in case two or more have served the same length of time one of them is 

chosen by lot. The governor may for an reasonable cause remove judges on the 

address of two-thirds of each house of the legislature. The counties are grouped into 

judicial circuits, those containing a population of more than 150,000 constituting 

separate districts; each district has a judge and a commonwealths attorney. The county 

officials are the judge, clerk, attorney, sheriff, jailor, coroner, surveyor and assessor, 

elected for four years. Each county contains from three to eight justice of the peace 

districts. The financial board of the county is composed of the county judge and the 

justices of the peace, or of the county judge and three commissioners elected on a 

general ticket.


The municipalities are divided into six classes according to population, a classitlcat’ion 

which permits considerable special local legislation in spite of the constitutional 

inhibition. Marriages between whites and persons of Negro descent are prohibited by 

law, and a marriage of insane persons is legally void. Among causes for absolute 

divorce are adultery, desertion for one year, habitual drunkenness for one year, cruelty, ungovernable temper, physical incapacity at time of marriage, and the joining by either 

party of any religious sect which regards marriage as unlawful. A home-stead law 

declares extempt from execution an unmortgaged dwelling house (with appurtenances) 

to exceed $1000 in value, and certain property, such as tools of one’s trade, libraries 

(to the value of $500) of ministers and lawyers, and provisions for one year for each 

member of a family. Child labour is regulated by an act passed by the General 

Assembly in 1908 this act prohibits the employment of children less than 14 years 

of age in any gainful occupation during the session of school or in stores, factories, 

mines, offices, hotels or messenger service during vacations, and prohibits the 

employment of children between 14 and 16-unless they have employment certificates 

issued by a superintendent of schools or some other properly authorized person, 

showing the child’s ability to read and write English, giving information as to 

the child’s age (based upon a birth certificate if possible), and identifying the child 

by giving height and weight and color of, eyes and’ hair. These certificates must 

be kept on file and lists of children employed must be posted by employers; 

labor inspectors receive monthly lists from local school boards of children

 receiving certificates; and children under 16 are not to work more than 10 hours 

a day or 60 hours a week, or between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.


Charitable and Penal Institutions.—The charitable and penal institutions are managed 

by separate boards of trustees appointed by the governor. There are a deaf and dumb 

institution at Danville (1823), an institution for the blind at Louisville (1842), and 

an institution for ‘the education of feeble-minded children at Frankfort (1860). The 

Eastern Lunatic Asylum at Lexington, established in 1815 as a private institution, c

came under the control of the state in I824. The Central Lunatic Asylum at Anchorage, 

founded in 1869 as a house of refuge for young criminals, became an asylum in f 873. 

The Western Lunatic Asylum at Hopkinsville was founded in 1848. The main 

penitentiary at Frankfort was completed in 1799 and a branch was established at 

Eddyville in 1891. Under an act of 1898 two houses of reform for juvenile offenders, 

one for boys, the other for girls, were established near Lexington.


Education—The early history of the schools of Kentucky shows’ that ,the rural 

school conditions have been very unsatisfactory. A system of five trustees, with a 

sixty-day term of school, was replaced by a three trustee system, first with a one-

hundred-day term of school, and subsequently with a one-hundred-and-twenty-day 

term~ of school annually. The state fund has not been supplemented locally for the

 payment of teachers, who have consequently been underpaid. The rural teachers, 

however, have been paid from the state fund, so that the poorer districts receive aid 

from the richer districts of the commonwealth. The rural schools are supervised’ by 

a superintendent in each county. Throughout the state white and Negro children are 

taught in separate schools. 


The state makes provision for revenue for school purposes as follows: 


(I) the interest on the Bond of the Commonwealth for $1,327,000 00~ 

(2) dividends on 798 shares of the capital stock of the Bank of Kentucky—representing 

a par value of $79,800.00; 

(3) the interest at 6% on the Bond of the Commonwealth for 

$381,986.08, which is a perpetual obligation in favor of the several counties; 

(4) the interest at 6% on $606,641.03, which was received from the United States; 

(5) the annual tax of 261/2 cents on each $100 of value of all real and personal estate and 

corporate franchises directed to be assessed for taxation; 

(6) a certain portion of fines, forfeitures and licenses realized by the state; and 

(7) a portion of the dog taxes of each, county. 


The present school system of Kentucky may be summarized under 

three heads: the rural schools, the graded schools, and the high schools (which are 

further classified as city and county high schools). The 1908 session of the General 

Assembly passed an act providing: that each county of the state-be the unit for 

taxation; that the county tax be mandatory; that there be a local sub district tax; and that 

each county be divided into four, six or eight educational divisions, that one trustee be 

elected for each sub district, that the trustees of the sub districts form division Boards 

of Education, and that the chairmen of these various division boards form a County 

Board of Education together with the county superintendent, who is ex officio

 chairman. This system of taxation and supervision is a great advance in the 

administration of public schools. Any sub district, town or city of the fifth or 

sixth class may provide for a graded school by voting for an ad valorem and 

poll tax which is limited as to amount. There were in 1909 135 districts which 

had complied with this act, and were known as Graded Common School districts. 

By special charters the General Assembly has also’ established 25 special graded 

schools. Statutes provide that all children between the ages of 7 and 14 years 

living in such districts must attend school annually for at least eight consecutive 

weeks. In each city of the first, second and third class there must be, and of the 

fourth class there may be, maintained under control of a city Board of Education 

a system of public schools, in which all children between the ages of 6 and 20 

residing in the city may be taught at public expense. There were in 1909 62 city 

public high schools whose graduates are admitted to the State University without 

examination. A truancy act (1908) provides that every child between the ages of 

7 and 14 years living in a city of the first, second, third or fourth class must attend 

school regularly for the full term of said school. It was provided by statute that 

before June 1910, there should have been established in each county of the state at 

least one County High School to which all common school graduates of the county 

should be admitted without charge. Separate institutes for white and colored teachers 

are conducted annually in each county. These institutes are held for a five or ten day 

session and attendance is required of every teacher. The state provides for the issuance 

of three kinds of certificates- A state diploma issued by the State Board of Examiners 

is good for life. A state certificate issued by the State Board of Examiners is good 

for eight years with one renewal. County certificates issued by the County Board of 

Examiners are of three classes, valid for one, two and four years respectively.

According to a school census there was in 1908—1909 a school population of 739,352, 

of which 587,051 were reported from the rural districts In the school year 1907—

I908 the school population was 734,617, the actual enrolment in public schools was 

441,377, the average attendance was 260,843; there were approximately 3392 male 

and 5257 female white teachers and 1274 negro teachers; and the total revenue for 

school purposes was $3,805,997, of which sum $2,437,942.56 came from the state 



What was formerly the State Agricultural and Mechanical College at Lexington became 

the State University by legislative enactment (1908); there is no tuition fee except in 

the School of Law. The State University has a Department of Education. ‘ The state 

maintains for the whites two State Normal Schools, which were established in 1906—

one, for the eastern district, at Richmond, and the other, for the western district, at 

Bowling Green. Under the law establishing State Normal Schools, each county is 

entitled to one or more appointments of scholarships, one annually for every ~oo 

white school children listed in the last school census. A Kentucky Normal and 

Industrial School (1886) for Negroes is maintained at Frankfort. Among the private and denominational colleges in Kentucky are Central University (Presbyterian), at Danville; Transylvania University, at Lexington; Georgetown College (Baptist) at Georgetown; 

Kentucky Wesleyan College (M.E. South), at Winchester; and Berea College( non-sectarian) 

at Berea.


Finance.—Kentucky, in common with other states in this part of the country, suffered 

from over-speculation in land and railways during s83o—185o. The funded debt of the 

state amounted to four and one-half millions of dollars in 1850, when the new constitution 

limited the power of the legislature to contract further obligations or to decrease or 

misapply the sinking funds. From 1850 to 1880 there was a gradual reduction except 

during the years. of the war. The system of classifying the revenue into separate funds 

has frequently produced annual deficits, which are, as a rule only nominal, since the total 

receipts exceed the total expenditures. In 1902 the net bonded debt, exclusive of about two 

millions of dollars held for educational purposes, was $1,171,394, but this debt was paid 

in full in the years immediately following. 


The sinking fund commission is composed of the governor, attorney-general, secretary 

of state, auditor and treasurer. 


The first banking currency in Kentucky was issued in 1802 by a co-operative insurance company established by Mississippi Valley traders. The Bank of Kentucky, established at Frankfort in 1806, had a monopoly f or several years. In 18I8—1819 the legislature chartered 46 banks, nearly all of which went into liquidation during the panic of 1819. 


The Bank of the Commonwealth was chartered in 1820 as a state institution and the charter of the Bank of Kentucky was revoked in 1822. A court decision denying the legal tender quality of the notes issued by the Bank of the Commonwealth gave rise to a bitter 

controversy which had considerable influence upon the political history of the state. 

This bank failed in 1829. In 1834 the legislature chartered the Bank of Kentucky, the 

Bank of Louisville and the Northern Bank of Kentucky. These institutions survived 

the panic of 1837 and soon came to be recognized as among the most prosperous and 

the most conservative banks west of the Alleghenies. The state banking laws are 

stringent and most of the business is still controlled by banks operating under 

state charters.


History—The settlement and the development of that part of the United States west 

of the Allegheny Mountains has probably been the most notable feature of American 

history since the close of the Seven Years’ War (1763). Kentucky was the first 

settlement in this movement, the first state west of the Allegheny Mountains admitted 

into the Union. In 1763 the Kentucky country was claimed by the Cherokees as a part 

of their hunting grounds, by the Six Nations (Iroquois) as a part of their western 

conquests, and by Virginia as a part of the territory granted to her by her charter of 

1609, although it was actually inhabited only by a few Chickasaws near the Mississippi 

river- and by a small tribe of Shawnees in the north, opposite what is now Portsmouth, 

Ohio. The early settlers were often attacked by Indian raiders from what is now 

Tennessee or from tile country north of the Ohio, but the work of colonization would

 have been far more difficult if those Indians had lived in the Kentucky region itself. 

Dr Thomas Walker (1715—1794), as an agent and surveyor of the Loyal Land 

Company, made an exploration in 1750 into the present state from the Cumberland Gap, 

in search of a suitable place for settlement but did not get beyond the mountain region. 

In the next year Christopher Gist, while on a similar mission for the Ohio Company, 

explored the country westward from the mouth of the Scioto river. In 1752 John Finley, 

an Indian trader, descended the Ohio river in a canoe to the site of Louisville. It was 

Finley’s descriptions that attracted Daniel Boone,~ and soon after Boone’s first visit, 

in. 1767, travelers through the Kentucky region became numerous. The first permanent 

English settlement was established at Harrodsburg ill 1774 by James Harrod, and in 

October of the same year the Ohio Indians, having been defeated by Virginia troops in 

the battle of Point Pleasant (in what is now West Virginia), signed a treaty by which they surrendered their claims south of the Ohio river. In March 1775 Richard Henderson and 

some North Carolina land speculators met about 1200 Cherokee Indians in council on the 

Watauga river and concluded a treaty with them for the purchase of all the territory south 

of the Ohio river and between the Kentucky and Cumberland rivers. The purchase was 

named Transylvania, and within less than a month after the treaty was signed, Boone, 

under its auspices, founded ~a settlement at Boonesborough which became the 

headquarters of the colony. The title was declared void by the Virginia government in 

1778, but’ Henderson and his associates received 200,000 acres in corn-~ pensation, 

and all sales made to actual settlers were confirmed. During the War of Independence, 

the colonists were almost entirely neglected by Virginia and were compelled to defend 

themselves against the Indians who were often under British leadership. Boonesborough 

was attacked in April and in July 1777 and in August 1778. Bryant’s (or Bryan’s) Station, 

near Lexington, was besieged in August 1782 by about 600 Indians under the notorious 

Simon Girty, who after raising the siege ‘drew the defenders, numbering fewer than 200, 

into an ambush and in the~ battle of Blue Licks which ensued the Kentuckians lost about 

67 killed and 7 prisoners. Kentucky county, practically coterminous with the present state 

of Kentucky and embracing,~ all the territory claimed by Virginia south of the Ohio river 

and west of Big Sandy Creek and the ridge of the Cumberland Mountains, was one of 

three counties which was formed out of Fincastle county in 1776. Four years later, this in

 turn was divided into three counties, Jefferson, Lincoln and Fayette, hut, the name Kentucky 

was revived in 1782 and was given to the judicial district winch was then organized for 

these three counties. The War of Independence was followed by an extensive immigration 

from Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina1 of a ,popu-. lation of which fully 95%, 

excluding Negro slaves, were of pure English, Scotch or Scotch-Irish descent. 

The manners, customs and institutions of Virginia were transplanted beyond the 

mountains. There was the same political rivalry between the slave-holding farmers 

of the Blue Grass Region and the “ poor whites” of the mountain districts that there 

was in: Virginia between the tide-water planters and the mountaineers. Between these 

extremes were the small farmers of the “ Barrens”2 in Kentucky and of the Piedmont 

Region in Virginia. The aristocratic influences in both states have always been on the; 

Southern and Democratic side, but while they were strong enough in Virginia to lead 

the state into secession they were unable to do so in Kentucky.


1 Most of the early settlers of Kentucky made their way thither either by the Ohio river 

(from Fort Pitt) or—the far larger number-by way of the Cumberland Gap and the “ 

Wilderness Road.” This latter route began at Inglis’s Ferry, on the New river, in 

what is now West Virginia, and proceeded west by south to the Cumberland Gap., 

Tue “ Wilderness Road,” as marked by Daniel Boone in 1775, was a mere trail, 

running from the Watauga settlement in’ east Tennessee to the Cumberland Gap, and 

thence by way of what are now Crab Orchard, Danville and Bardstown, to the Falls 

of the Ohio, and was passable only for men and horses until 1795, when the state made 

it a wagon road. Consult Thomas Speed, The Wilderness Road (Louisville, Ky., 1886), 

and Archer B. Hulbert, Boone’s Wilderness Road (Cleveland, 0., 1903).


2 The “ Barrens “ were in the north part of the state west of the Blue Grass Region, and 

were so called merely because the Indians had burned most of the forests here in order to provide better pasturage for buffaloes and other game.


At the close of the War of Independence the Kentuckians complained because the mother 

state did not protect them against their enemies and did not give them an adequate system 

of local government. Nine conventions were held at Danville from 1784 to 1790 to demand separation from Virginia. The Virginia authorities expressed a willingness to grant the 

demand provided Congress would admit the new district into the Union as a state. The 

delay, together with the proposal of John Jay, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs and 

commissioner to negotiate a commercial treaty with the Spanish envoy, to surrender 

navigation rights on the lower Mississippi for twenty-five years in order to remove the 

one obstacle to the negotiations, aroused so much feeling that General James Wilkinson 

and a few other leaders began to intrigue not only for a separation from Virginia, but also 

from the United States, and for the formation of a close alliance with the Spanish at New 

Orleans. Although most of the settlers were too loyal to be led into any such plot they 

generally agreed that it might have a good effect by bringing pressure to bear upon the 

Federal government. Congress passed a preliminary act in February 1791, and the state 

was formally admitted into the Union on the 1st of June 1792. In the Act of 1776 for 

dividing Fincastle county, Virginia, the ridge of the Cumberland Mountains was named 

as a part of the east boundary of Kentucky; and now that this ridge had become a part of 

the boundary between the states of Virginia and Kentucky they, in 1799, appointed a joint commission to run the boundary line on this ridge. A dispute with Tennessee over the 

southern boundary was settled in a similar manner in 1820.1 The constitution of 1792 

provided for manhood suffrage and for the election of the governor and of senators by an 

electoral college. General Isaac Shelby was the first governor. The people still continued 

to have troubles with the Indians and with the Spanish at New Orleans. The Federal 

government was slow to act, but its action when taken was effective. The power of the 

Indians was overthrown by General Anthony Wayne’s victory in the battle of Fallen 

Timbers, fought the 20th of August 1794 near the rapids of the Maumee river a few miles 

above the site of Toledo, Ohio; and the Mississippi question was settled temporarily by 

the treaty of 1795 and permanently by the purchase of Louisiana in 1803. In 1798—1799 

the legislature passed the famous Kentucky Resolutions in protest against the alien and 

sedition acts.


For several years the Anti-Federalists or Republicans had contended that the 

administration at Washington had been exercising powers not warranted by the 

constitution, and when Congress had passed the alien and sedition laws the leaders 

of that party seized upon the event as a proper occasion for a spirited public protest 

which took shape principally in resolutions passed by the legislatures of Kentucky 

and Virginia. The original draft of the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 was prepared 

by Vice-President Thomas Jefferson, although the fact that he was the author of them 

was kept from the public until he acknowledged it in 1821. They were introduced in 

the House of Representatives by John Breckinridge on the 8th of November, were 

passed by that body with some amendments but with only one dissenting vote on the 

10th, were unanimously concurred in by the Senate on the I3th, and were approved 

by Governor James Garrard on the 16th. The first resolution was a statement of the 

ultra states’-rights view of the relation of the states to the Federal government2 and 

subsequent resolutions declare the


I The southern boundary to the Tennessee river was surveyed in 1779—1780 by 

commissioners representing Virginia and North Carolina, and was supposed to be run 

along the parallel of latitudes 36° 30’, but by mistake was actually run north of that parallel. 

By a treaty of 1819 the Indian title to the territory west of the Tennessee was extinguished, and commissioners then ran a line along this parallel of 36° 30’ from the Mississippi to the Tennessee. In 182C commissioners representing Kentucky and Tennessee formally) adopted the line of 1779—1780 and the line of 1819 as the 

boundary between the two states.


2 This resolution read as follows: Resolved, that the several statn composing the 

United States of America are not united on this principle of unlimited submission to 

their general government; but that by compact under the style of a Constitution for the 

United alien and sedition laws unconstitutional and therefore” void and of no force,” 

principally on the ground that they provided for an exercise of powers which were 

reserved to the state. The resolutions further declare that “this Commonwealth is 

determined, as it doubts not its co-states are, tamely to submit to undelegated and 

therefore unlimited powers in no man or body of men on earth,” and that “these and 

successive acts of the same character, unless arrested on the threshold, may tend to drive 

these states into revolution and blood.” Copies of the resolutions were sent to the governors of the various states, to be laid before the different state legislatures, and replies were received from Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia, but all except that from Virginia were unfavorable. 

Nevertheless the Kentucky legislature on the 22nd of November 1799 reaffirmed in 

a new resolution the principles it had laid down in the first series, asserting in this 

new resolution that the state “does now unequivocally declare its’ attachment to the 

Union, and to that compact between the anti-relief or “ old court “ party and the relief or 

“ new court” party, in which the former was successful. The old court party followed the 

lead of Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams in national politics, and became National 

Republicans and later Whigs. The new court party followed Andrew Jackson and Martin 

Van Buren and became Democrats. The electoral vote of the state was cast for Jackson   in 1828 and for Clay in 1832. During the next thirty years Clay’s conservative influence 

dominated the politics of the state.  Kentucky voted the Whig ticket in every presidential 

election from 1832 until the party made its last campaign in 1852. When the Whigs were 

destroyed by the slavery issue some of them immediately became Democrats, but the 

majority became Americans, or Know-Nothings. They elected the governor in 1855 and 

almost succeeded in carrying the state for their presidential ticket in 1856. In 1860 the 

people of Kentucky were drawn toward the South by their interest in slavery and by their 

social relations, and toward the North by business ties and by a national sentiment 

which was fostered by the Clay traditions. They naturally assumed the leadership in 

the Constitutional Union movement of 1860, casting the ‘vote of the state for Bell and 

Everett. After the election of President Lincoln they also led in the movement to secure 

the adoption of the Crittenden Compromise or some other peaceful solution of the 

difficulties between the North and the South.


A large majority of the state legislature, however, were Democrats, and in his message 

o this body, in January 1861, Governor Magoffin, also a Democrat, proposed that a 

convention be called to determine “the future of Federal and inter-state relations of Kentucky;

” later too, in reply to the president’s call for volunteers, he declared, “ Kentucky will

 furnish no troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister Southern States.” 

Under these conditions the Unionists asked only for the maintenance of neutrality, and 

a resolution to this effect was carried by a bare majority—48 to 47. Some of the 

secessionists took this as a defeat and left the state immediately to join the Confederate 

ranks. In the next month there was an election of congressmen, and an anti-secession 

candidate was chosen in nine out of ten districts. An election in August of one-half the 

Senate and all of the House of Representatives resulted in a Unionist majority in the 

new legislature of 103 to 35, and in September, after Confederate troops had begun to 

invade the state, Kentucky formally declared its allegiance to the Union. From September 

1861 to the fall of Fort Donelson in February 1862 that part of Kentucky which is south 

and west of the Green River was occupied by the Confederate army under General A. 

S. Johnston, and at Russellville in that district a so-called “ sovereignty convention” 

assembled on the 18th of November. This body, composed mostly of Kentucky men 

who had joined the Confederate army, passed an ordinance of secession, elected state 

officers, and sent commissioners to the Confederate Congress, which body voted on 

the 9th of December to admit Kentucky into the Confederacy. Throughout the war 

Kentucky was represented in the Confederate Congress—representatives and senators 

being elected by Confederate soldiers from the state. The officers of this “provisional 

government,” headed by G. W. Johnson, who had been elected “governor,” left the 

state when General A. S. Johnston withdrew; Johnson himself was killed at Shiloh, 

but an attempt was subsequently made by General Bragg to install this government at 

Frankfort. General Felix K. Zollicoffer (1812—1862) had entered the south-east part 

of the state through Cumberland Gap in September, and later with a Confederate force 

of about 7000 men attempted the invasion of central Kentucky, but in October 1861 he 

met with a slight repulse at Wild Cat Mountain, near London, Laurel county, and on the

 i9th of January 1862, in an engagement near Mill Springs, Wayne county, with about 

an equal force under General George H. Thomas, he was killed and his force was 

utterly routed. In 1862 General Braxton Bragg in command of the Confederates in 

eastern Tennessee, eluded General Don 1 He died in 1852, but the traditions which he 

represented survived.


Carlos Buell, in command of the Federal Army of the Ohio stationed there, and entering 

Kentucky in August 1862 proceeded slowly toward Louisville, hoping to win the state

 to the Confederate cause and gain recruits for the Confederacy in the state. His main 

army was preceded by a division of about 15,000 men under General Edmund Kirby 

Smith, who on the 30th of August defeated a Federal force under General Wm. Nelson 

near Richmond and threatened Cincinnati. Bragg met with little opposition on his march, 

but Buell, also marching from eastern Tennessee, reached Louisville first (Sept. ~4), 

turned on Bragg, and forced him to withdraw. On his retreat, Bragg attempted to set up 

a Confederate government at Frankfort, and Richard J. Hawes, who had been chosen 

as G. W. Johnson’s successor, was actually “ inaugurated,” but naturally this state” 

government” immediately collapsed. On the 8th of October Buell and Bragg fought 

an engagement at Perryville which, though tactically indecisive, was a strategic victory 

for Buell; and thereafter Bragg withdrew entirely from the state into Tennessee. This 

was the last serious attempt on a large scale by the Confederates to win Kentucky; but 

in February 1863 one of General John H. Morgan’s brigades made a raid on Mount 

Sterling and captured it; in March General Pegram made a raid into Pulaski county; 

in March 1864 General N. B. Forrest assaulted Fort Anderson at Paducah but failed 

to capture it; and in June General Morgan made an unsuccessful attempt to take 



Although the majority of the people sympathized with the Union, the emancipation of 

the slaves without compensation even to loyal owners, the arming of Negro troops, the 

arbitrary imprisonment of citizens and the interference of Federal military officials in 

purely civil affairs aroused so much feeling that the state became strongly Democratic, 

and has remained so almost uniformly since the war. Owing to the panic of 1893, distrust 

of the free silver movement and the expenditure of large campaign funds, the Republicans  were successful in the gubernational election of 1895 and the presidential election of 1896. 

The election of 1899 was disputed. William S. Taylor, Republican, was inaugurated 

governor on the 12th of December, but the legislative committee on contests decided in 

favor of the Democrats. Governor-elect Goebel was shot by an assassin on the 3oth of 

January 1900, was sworn into office on his deathbed, and died on the 3rd of February. 

Taylor fled the state to escape trial on the charge of murder. Lieutenant-Governor 

Beckham filled out the unexpired term and was re-elected in 1903. In 1907 the 

Republicans again elected their candidate for governor.


Governors OF Kentucky

Isaac Shelby Democratic-Republican 1792—1796

James Garrard ,, ,, 1796—1804

Christopher Greenup ,, ,, 1804—1808

Charles Scott ,, ,, 18o8—I8I2

Isaac Shelby ,, ,, 1812—1816

George Madison* ,, , 1816

Gabriel Slaughter (acting) ,, ,, 1816—1820

John Adair ,, ,, 1820—1824

Joseph Desha ,, ,, 1824—1828

Thomas Metcalfe National ,, 1828—1832

John Breathitt* Democrat 1832—1834

JamesT. Morehead (acting) ,, 1834—1836

James Clark* Whig 1836

Charles A. Wickliffe (acting) ,, 1836—1840

Robert P. Letcher ,, 1840-1844

William Owsley ,, 1844—1848

John J. Crittendent ,, ‘ 1848—1850

John L. Helmf Democrat 1850—1851

Lazarus W. Powell ,, I 851—1855

Charles S. Morehead American 1855—I 859

Beriah Magoflin Democrat 1859—1862

James F. Robinson ,, 1862—1863

Thomas E. Bramlette ,, 1863—1867

John L. Helm* ,, 1867

John W. Stevenson~ ,, 1867—1871

Preston H. Lesliet ,• 1871—1875

James B. McCreary ,, 1875—1879

Luke P. Blackburn ,, 1879—1883

J. Proctor Knott ,, 1883—1887

Simon B. Buckner ,, 1887—1891

John Y. Brown . 1891—1895