תמונות בעמוד
PDF

· are covered with grafs, and afford good pasturage. The lands eaft of Na

lin creek, a branch of Green river, are in general of an inferior quality; • but the banks of Green river afford many desirable situations.

· Towards the head waters of Kentucky river, which interlock with the waters of Cumberland and Sandy rivers, and the whole country eastward and south-eastward as far as the Holstein river, is broken, mountainous, and almost impenetrable ; and from the description given by hunters, it is mach doubted whether it will ever be practicable to make a passable road from Kentucky across to Winchester, in Virginia, on the east side of the mountains, which, on a straight line, is not perhaps more than 400 miles, and the way now travelled is 600.

No country will admit of being thicker settled with farmers, who confine themselves to agriculture, than this. But large stocks of cattle, except in the neighbourhood of barrens, cannot be raised.

Elkhorn river, a branch of the Kentucky, from the south-east, waters a country fine beyond description. Indeed, the country east and south of this, including the head waters of Licking river, Hickman's and Jeffamine creeks, and the remarkable bend in Kentucky river, may be called an extensive garden. The soil is deep and black, and the natural growth, large walnuts, honey and black locust, poplar, elm, oak, hickory, fugar tree, &c. Grape vines, running to the tops of the trees; and the surface covered with clover, blue glass, and wild rye. On this fertile tract, and on the Licking river, and the head waters of Salt river, are the bulk of the settlements in this country. The soil within a mile or two of Kentucky river is generally of the third and fourth rates; and as you advance towards the Ohio, the land is poor and hilly.

Dick's river runs through a great body of first rate land, abounding with cane, and affords many excellent mill seats. Salt river has good lands on its head waters, except that they are low and unhealthy, but for 25 miles before it empties into the Ohio, the land on each Gide is level and poor, and abounds with ponds.

Cumberland river, so much of it as passes through Kentucky, traverses, fome few parts excepted, a hilly poor country.

Green river overflows its banks a considerable way up, at the season when the Ohio swells, which is in April. This swell in Green river, occasions several of its large branches to overflow, and cover the low grounds with water, leaves and vegetable substances, which in summer become noxious and unhealthy. Its banks are fine and fertile. There is a great body of good land near the falls or rapids in the Ohio, called Bare grass; but the climate is rendered unhealthy by ponds of stagnant water, which may be easily drained.

This country in general is well timbered. Of the natural growth which is peculiar to this country, we may reckon the sugar, the coffee, the papaw, and the cucumber tree. The two last are a soft wood, and bear a fruit of the shape and size of a cucumber. The coffee tree resembles the black oak, and bears a pod, which encloses good coffee. Besides the fe there is the honey locuit, black mulberry, wild cherry, of a large fize, buckeye, an exceedingly soft wood—the magnolia, which bears a beautiful blofiom of a rich and exquisite fragrance. Such is the variety and beauty of the flowering thrubs and plants which grow spontaneously in

[ocr errors]

rous accessions which are made almost every month. In 1783, in the coun. ty of Lincoln* only, there were, on the militia rolls, 3570 men, chiefly emigrants from the lower parts of Virginia. In 15, 84, the number of inhabitants were reckoned at upwards of 30,000. From the accounts of their astonishing increase fince, we may now safely estimate them at 100,000. It is asserted that at leaft 20,000 migrated here in the year 1787. These people, collected from different states, of diferent manners, cuftoms, religions, and political sentiments, have not been long enough together to form a uniform and distinguishing character. Amo!g the sete tlers there are many gentlemen of abilities, and many genteel families, from several of the states, who give dignity and respectability to the settlement. They are, in general, more orderly, perlaps, than any people who have settled a new country.

Religion.] The Baptists are the most numerous religious feet in Kentucky. In 1787 they had 16 churches established, besides several congregations where churches were not constituted. These were fupplied with upwards of 30 minifters or teachers. There are several large congregations of Presbyterians, and some few of other denominations,

Government. The same as Virginia. But they expect to be admitted into the union as an independent state, in a convenient time after the new government is put in operation. The inconveniencies to which they are necessarily subjected, from their connection with Virginia, are great, These inconveniencies the legislature of Virginia have considered ; and, in their session of 1786, passed an act, providing, on their part, for the erection of the district of Kentucky into an independent state. In no part of the United States is justice administered with more propriety and dispatch.

Literature and Improvements. The legislature of Virginia have made provision for a college in Kentucky, and have endowed it with very confiderable landed funds. The Rev. John Todd has given a very handsome library for its use. Schools are established in the several towns, and, in general, regularly and handsomely supported. They have a printing of. fice, and publith a weekly Gazette. They have erected a paper-mill, an oil mill, fulling mills, faw mills, and a great number of valuable grift mills. Their salt works are more than suficient to supply all the inhabitants, at a low price. They make confiderable quantities of sugar from the sugar trees. Labourers, particularly tradesinen, are exceedingly wanted here. No tradesman will work for less than fifty per cent, advance upon the Philadelphian price.

Curiofities.] The banks, or rather precipices, of Kentucky and Dick's rivers, are to be reckoned among the natural curiofities of this country. Here the astonished eye beholds 3 or 400 feet of solid perpendicular rock, in some parts of the lime-stone kind, and in others of fine white marble, curiously chequered with itsata of astonishing regularity. These rivers have the appearance of deep, artificial canals. Their banks are level, and covered with red cedar groyes.

Caves have been discovered in this country, of several miles in length, under a fine lime-stone rock, supported by curious arches and pillars. * This county, it is to be remembered, has since been divideda

Springs

Springs thắt emit fulphurous matter have been found in several parts of the country. One is near a falt spring, in the neighbourhood of Boonfborough. There are three springs or ponds of bitumen near Green river, which do not form a stream, but empty themselves into a common refervoir, and when used in lamps, answer all the purposes of the best oil. Copperas and alum are among the minerals of Kentucky. Near Lexington are found curious fepulchres full of human skeletons. I have been told that a man, in or near Lexington, having dug 5 or 6 feet below the furface of the ground, came to a large flat stone, under which was a well of common depth, regularly and artificially ftoned. i

History.] * The first white man we have certain accounts of, who discovered this province, was one James M.Bride, who in company with some others, in the year 1754, pafling down the Ohio in canoes, landed at the mouth of Kentucky river, and there marked a tree, with the first letters of his name, and the date, which remains to this day. These men re connoitred the country, and returned home with the pleasing news of their discovery of the best tract of land in North America, and probably in the world. From this period it remained concealed till about the year 1767, when one John Finley and some others, trading with the Indians, fortunately travelled over the fertile region, now called Kentucky, then but known to the Indians, by the name of the Dark and Bloody Grounds, and sometimes the Middle Ground. This country greatly engaged Mr. Finley's attention. Some time after disputes arising between : the Indians and traders, he was obliged to decamp; and returned to his place of residence in North-Carolina, where he communicated his difcor very to Col. Daniel Boon, and a few more, who conceiving it to be an in- . teresting object, agreed in the year 1769 to undertake a journey in order . to explore it. After a long fatiguing march, over a mountainous wilder : ness, in a westward direction, they at length arrived upon its borders; and from the top of an eminence, with joy and wonder, descried the beautiful landscape of Kentucky. Here they encamped, and some went to hunt provisions, which were readily procured, there being plenty of game, while Col. Boon and John Finley made a tour through the country, which they found far exceeding their expectations, and returning to camp, informed their companions of their discoveries: But in spite of this promising beginning, this company, meeting with nothing but hardships and adverfiry, grew exceedingly disheartened, and was plundered, dispersed and killed by the Indians, except Col. Boon, who continued an inhabitant of the wilderness until the year 1771, when he returned home. .

About this time Kentucky had drawn the attention of several gentlemen. Doctor Walker of Virginia, with a number more, made a tour westward for discoveries, endeavouring to find the Ohio river; and afterwards he and General Lewis, at Fort Stanwix, purchased from the Five Nations of Indians the lands lying on the north side of Kentucky. Col. Donaldson, of Virginia, being employed by the state to run a line from fix miles above the Long Isand, on Holstein, to the mouth of the Great

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]
« הקודםהמשך »