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“In 1750 a party of Virginians Dr Thomas Walker, Ambrose Powell, Colby Chew and others entered, through Cumberland Gap, what is now the state of Kentucky and explored or passed through probably the present counties of Bell, Knox. Whitley, Laurel, Clay, Owsley, Breathitt, Perry, Letcher and Harlan. In 1738 Dr W. reached Dick's river in Lincoln co. Between 1761 and 1767 several companies of hunters from Virginia and Pennsylvania came into south-eastern Kentucky. One of them hunted in the fall of 1764 about Rockcastle river, near the Crab Orchard, and only about thirty miles from the geographical center of Kentucky.
In July 1766 Capt James Smith and four others passed through Cumberland Gap and striking Cumberland river, passed down its entire length to the Ohio. They found no vestige of any white man.” (Source: History of Kentucky, Lewis Collins, pp. 807-808)