Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Way In

In 1782 maps were hard to come by.  It was not until 1784 that John Filson had his map engraved by Henry Pursell and published by T. Rook in Philadelphia.  It outlines "The Road from the Old Settle' thro' the great Wildnenefs".   Now before 1782-1784,  lots of folks had made their way through this great wilderness.  Two accounts giving mileage charts are recorded by The Filson Club, 1886. [The Wilderness Road, A Description of The Routes of Travel By Which The Pioneers and Early Settlers First Came To Kentucky.  Prepared For The Filson Club by Thomas Speed, 1886.]  The chart below outlines these accounts from the start of the Cumberland Gap.   The figure shows the area around what was to become Danville, KY. 

 In 1782 "Doehurty's Station" [Dougherty's = John Dougherty would raised a crop of corn 1776] was the stopping point.   By 1784,  "Crow's Station" [ John Crow = in present city limits of Danville] was given as the end point of this passage.  Both lists give about the same land marks, which can be followed as outlined above.

The present day counties in which these locations existed in 1782-1784 are given in the figure below. One starts at the Cumberland Gap into Bell County, KY.  This then moves to Knox, then Laural, then Rockcastle, then Lincoln, and finally what is now Boyle County, KY.
In 1782 - 1784, getting to what was to become Danville, KY was by a wilderness path...the way in.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Three Ring Circus

Multiple factors were involved in the settlement of Kentucky. [Where this Danville was to be.]    To understand these issues would take imagining  "A Three Ring Circus", all under the influence of the owners.

The owner of this circus was the British central government.  Ever since King William in May, 1696 set up the "Board of Trade and Plantations", they directed the actors to this circus.  Their basic view was to make money for the owners.  Their "board of directors" were the local experts on trade and the various plantations (colonies) spread around the world. 

The first ring to this circus was in the north.  The Iroquois had caught the attention of the British central government, and a competing circus (The French) had caused the Mohawk River Valley to become the center of this ring.  An "Indian Superintendent" Sir William Johnson, was place as the "ring master".  He was responsible for all activity relating to the local ethic groups beginning 1768.

In the south was the second ring, where the Carolina's proprietors kept a heavy hand in the happenings in this ring.  The Cherokees blocked the land expansion for this group, and the trade arrangements had to made through this ethic group.

The middle ring was of course Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland who wanted their own control of this ring.  A Irish trader from Pennsylvania (George Crochan) had established his own plans to control this arena. [He was also the "right hand man" of Sir William Johnson.]  Business firms from Philadelphia had formed to take advantage of this activity.  The Shawnee were to block this expansion and provide all kinds of trouble for the traders, business firms, land speculators, hunters, trappers, and a host of acts wanting to get into the rings.

Now Virginia was actively recruiting settlers to the lands in the west.  By 1754, Virginia had granted more than 2.5 million acres to various "companies". [Greenbrier Co., Loyal Land Co., and Ohio Co., to name a few.]  A great wave of activity (settlement) was present in all the rings.

Come one, come all...the greatest show on earth...this three ring circus.  Danville was to become a part.