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dians, 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, which was made under the influence of Henderson and company, from North-Carolina." -Marshall'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 mouth of Beargrass, now LOUISVILLE, were selected as landing places. Both ways were infested by Indians, and
rendered dangerous to travellers. During the year 1775, Boonesborough and Harrodsburgh 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. Denton, 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 another asylum in the midst of a savage wilderness."--Marshall's History of Kentucky, page 19 & 20.
This country, being originally within the chartered limits of Virginia, was first a part of the county of Fincastle; was next the county, then the district, and finally the state of Kentucky. The circumstances under which civil and criminal law were first administered in Kentucky, are thus detailed by Marshall.
"The three counties of Kentucky had been erected into a separate district, and a new court of common law and 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 and 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 quali fied Walker Daniel, who held a commission from the Governor, 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 not keeping up a table of his fees.
"At this time there was no convenient 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 Harrodsburgh.
"Walker Daniel and John 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 hewed or sawed logs, at least nine 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 con tinued to held its sessions, until the separation from Virginia, when it was abolished."-Marshall's History of Kentuc ky, pages 182-184.
It is to the religious character of this interesting coun y that the volume now offered to the public is chiefly de voted, and whatever may be thought of the manner in which the work is executed, the subject itself will, it is
hoped, command the attention of a portion of the commu« nity. The design has been to connect with the life of fath-er Rice as much important information respecting ministe rial labours and the state of religion as possible, that the whole might exhibit at least an outline of the history of the Presbyterian church in Kentucky, from the year 1783 to the close of 1823.
The Editor has to lament his not having been furnished with materials to the extent which the importance of the subject required. And it may be that he has failed very much in making the right use of those which he had at command. Such as the work is, it is however now presented to the friends of the kingdom of our Lord, and if it shall be only the means of exciting those who are employed in the work of the ministry particularly, to collect and arrange each for himself facts bearing upon the state of religion, and to have these documents preserved for the use of the men of the next generation, the influence of this humble production will be at once extensive and of the most happy kind.
It is to be remembered that the Presbyterians form only a small part of the religious community in Kentucky, The Head of the church only knows what is the real amount of his efficient force, and where it is stationed. It would how ever strengthen the hands, and animate and direct the exertions of us all very much, could we fall upon any means by which we could know one another, and act unitedly as the friends of the Redeemer upon the unenlightened and heathen part of the population. From various inquiries, as well as from personal observation on different sections of the country, the Editor is disposed to believe that not more than the one half of the whole population are even in the habit of attending upon the means of grace with any denomination of christians. There is ample room at least for extensive united exertion--that Kentucky may become indeed the glory of all lands, the garden of America, in being
BIRTH, PARENTAGE, AND FIRST CONVIC TIONS.
THE REV. DAVID RICE was born in Hanover County, Virginia, on the 29th day of December, 1733.
His grandfather, Thomas Rice, was an Englishman by birth, of Welch extraction. He was an early adventurer into Virginia. Where he spent the first part of his life is not certainly known. In the latter part of his life he owned a small plantation in the lower part of what is now called Hanover County. Here he left his wife, with nine sons and three daughters, and went to England to receive a considerable estate which had been left him, but returned no more. The sailors reported that he died on sea. It was supposed that he was assassinated. No return was ever made of the property after which he had gone, and his family were left destitute in a strange land.
A widow and fatherless children, really suffering for want of the necessaries of life, is, perhaps, not to be found in the whole history of the sons of men. "Leave thy fatherless children," said Jehovah to Esau, "I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me.”*
* Jer. xlix. 11