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Cumberland

Beginnings of



In 1769 Boone explored the trail through Cumberland Gap into Kentucky, then a part of Virginia. The colonial assembly planned to make it the regular highway into their western lands, but it long remained simply a path. In 1774 James Harrod and thirty companions laid out Harrodsburg on the Kentucky River, and the year following Boone founded Boonesborough near by. Each settler marked off his own farm. The land was plentiful and it made little difference whether he took 400 or 1,000 acres. Most of the early settlers in Kentucky depended upon hunting and trapping to obtain furs, which they sold in the colonies or states.

The story of early Tennessee was similar. In 1769 a family settled on Watauga Creek in eastern Tennessee. The following year James Robertson, whom the people of Tennessee like to call the "father" of their state, settled in the same region. Many others soon joined the new settlements.

The Revolutionary War instead of delaying the growth of the western settlements, helped them. Many colonists, leaving the regions threatened by war, took their way over the mountains. The great danger came from Indian Attacks supported by the British garrison at Detroit or at other posts taken from France in 1763. The Indians did not require much urging, for the settlers were invading their hunting grounds.

Kentucky State Land Office Revolutionary War Warrants Kentucky Secretary of State Searchable Military Databases Land Patent Office

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Text & Photo HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES Bourne and Benton
Photo A HISTORY OF KENTUCKY Elizabeth Shelby Kinkead