Friday, January 25, 2013

North, South, East and West Which Branches are the Best

Getting to this land that was to become Danville needed an access route.  The Dick's River was a major branch of the Kentucky River, with head waters near the Wilderness Road from the southeast.  Coming down the Ohio would require you to paddle up stream on the Kentucky or the Salt River. [From the north or northwest.]  Which way proved the easiest and the safest  was open to discussion and your point of origin.

The following figure shows the relationship of the four main water routes into Danville.

Clark's Run seemed the branch of the Dick's River that ran the closest to the heart of Danville.  It would most likely be the source of the springs that were so necessary to early settlements.  Spear's Creek and Mock's Branch were north of the land that was to become Danville. [Clark's Run in orange, Spear's Creek green, and Mock's Branch in pink.]

The red marker outlines the flow of the Salt River.  This was a branch of the Ohio River, just below the falls.  It was the major route of those early surveyors that came to this area in 1774.  James Harrod and his group would have something to say about the land around these water routes.

Yes sir, north, south, east, and west...which branches are the best.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Safest Part of The Country

In "A Topographical Description of The Western Territory", p 315, [first published in 1792], Dick's River is described as:

"Dick's River runs through a great body of firft rate land, abounding everywhere with cane, and affords many excellent mill feats.  Many mills are already built on this ftream, and will have a plentiful fupply of water in the dryeft feafons.  The banks of this river, hear its mouth, are fimilar to the banks of Kentucky.  The feveral ftreams and branches of Salt river afford excellent mill feats.  Thefe roll themfelves through a great tract of excellent land; but the country from the junction of thefe waters, fome mile above towards the Ohio, which may be about 25 miles, is level and poor, and has abundance of ponds.  For a confiderable diftance from the head of this river, the land is of the firft quality, well fituated, and abounds with fine cane.  Upon this and Dick's river, the inhabitants are chiefly fettled, it being the fafeft part of the country from the incurfions of the Indians."
                      [remember "f" = "s" in reading the above quote ]  fettled = settled

The above figure shows the general outline of the Dick's (Dix) River.  It is the eastern border of present day Boyle County.  It flows into the Kentucky River, and has its origin in present day Lincoln County. It was at "Crab Orchard" that the Wilderness Road passed giving access to this river.

Mercer County lies to the northwest, and Garrard County to the east.  Lincoln county is to the south.  Of course, these counties did not exist as part of Kentucky, but as parts of Virginia, when Gilbert Imlay wrote his account of what was considered the "fafeft part of the country".

In 1784, Walker Daniel was instructed to find the "...proper and safe place..." to build a court house and jail for the new "District" of Kentucky.   It so happened that Danville was to become this place.

See: "KEN - TAH - THE", The Life and Times of Walker Daniel, Founder of the Town Lands of Danville, Kentucky, 18th Day of June 1784.  by Jerry E. Jones, MD, MS.  Published 2009,, The Jones Genealogist.

Also: A Topographical Description of The Western Territory of North America, by Gilbert Imlay.  First published 1792, reprinted 1969, by Augustus M. Kelley, Publisher, New York, NY.