Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]


'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 the 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 Licking, 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 not 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.

"Besides the distance of this country from the populous parts of the colonies, the almost continual wars with the In

« AnteriorContinuar »