John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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Preface: <The generality of those geographers, who have attempted a map, or description of America, seem either to have had no knowledge of Kentucky, or to have neglected it, although a place of infinite importance. And the rest have proceeded so eroneously, that they have left the world as much in darkness as before. Many are the mistakes, respecting the subject of this work, in all other maps which I have seen; where I can truly say, I know of none in that which I here present to the world either from my own particular knowledge, or from the information of those gentlemen with whose assistance I have been favoured, and who have been well acquainted with the country since the first settlement. When I visited Kentucke, I found it so far to exceed my expectations, although great, that I concluded it was a pity; that the world had not adequate information of it. I conceived that a proper description, and map of it, were objects highly interesting to the United States; and therefore, incredible as it may appear to some, I must declare, that this performance is not published from lucrative motives, but solely to inform the world of the happy climate, and plentiful soil of this favoured region. And I imagine the reader will believe me the more easily when I inform him, that I am not an inhabitant of Kentucke, but having been there some time, by my acquaintance in it, am sufficiently able to publish the truth, and from principle, have cautiously endeavoured to avoid every species of falsehood. The consciousness of this encourages me to hope for the public candour, where errors may possibly be found. The three gentlemen honouring this work with their recommendation, Col. Boon, Col. Todd, and Col. Harrod, were among the first settlers, and perfectly well acquainted with the country. To them I acknowledge myself much indebted for their friendly assistance in this work, which they chearfully contributed with a disinterested view of being serviceable to the public. My thanks are more especially due to Col. Boon, who was earlier acquainted with the subject of this performance than any other now living, as appears by the account of his adventures, which I esteemed curious and interesting, and therefore have published them from his own mouth. Much advantage may possibly arise to the possessor of this book, as those who wish to travel to Kentucke will undoubtedly find it a Compleat Guide. To such I affirm, that there is nothing mentioned or described but what they will find true. Conscious that it would be of general utility, I have omitted nothing, and been exceeding particular in every part. That it may have the desired effect, is the sincere wish of <John Filson.> FILSON:5-6

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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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Kentucky was <known to the Indians by the name of the Dark and Bloody Ground, and sometimes the Middle Ground.> FILSON:8

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    Created: 8/16/2017 9:09:19 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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FILSON <There are four natural qualities necessary to promote the happiness of a country, viz. A good soil, air, water and trade. These taken collectively, excepting the latter, Kentucke possesses in a superior degree. And, agreeable to our description of the western trade, we conclude, that it will be nearly equal to any other on the continent of America, and the disadvantages it is subject to, be fully compensated by the fertility of the soil. This fertile region, abounding with all the luxuries of nature, stored with all the principal materisl for art and industry, inhabited by virtuous and ingenious citizens, must universally attract the attention of mankind, being situated in the central part of the extensive American empire . . . where agriculture, industry, laws, arts and sciences, flourish; where afflicted humanity raises her drooping head; where springs a harvest for the poor; where conscience ceases to be a slave, and laws are no more than the security of happiness; where nature makes reparation for having created man; and government, so long prostituted to the most criminal purposes, establishes an asylum in the wilderness for the distressed of mankind. The recital of your happiness will call to your country all the unfortunate of the earth, who, having experienced oppression, political or religious, will there find a deliverance from their chains. To you innumerable multitudes will emigrate from the hateful regions of despotism and tyranny; and you will surely welcome them as friends, as brothers; you will welcome them to partake with you of your happiness.> <Let the iron of your mines, the wool of your flocks, you flax and hemp, the skins of the savage animals that wander in your woods, be fashioned into manufactures, and take an extraordinary value from your hands. Then will you rival the superfluities of Europe, and know that happiness may be found, without the commerce so universally desired by mankind. In your country, like the land of promise, flowing with milk and honey, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths, that spring out of valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, and all kinds of fruits, you shall eat bread without scarceness, and not lack any thing in it; where you are neither chilled with the cold of capricorn, nor scorched with the burning heat of cancer; the mildness of your air so great, that you neither feel the effects of infectious fogs, nor pestilential vapours. Thus, your country, favoured with the smiles of heaven, will probably be inhabited by the first people the world ever knew.> FILSON:107-09

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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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Very explicit on the manner and means of claiming land: military warrants, settlement and preemption (which terminated in March 1780), and treasury warrants <authorizing their possessor to locate the quantity of land mentioned in them, wherever it could be found vacant in Virginia. The mode of procedure in these affairs may be instructive to the reader. After the entry is made in the land-office, there being one in each county, the person making the entry takes out a copy of the location, and proceeds to survey when he pleases. The plot and certificate of such survey must be returned to the office within three months after the survey is made, there to be recorded; and a copy of the record must be taken out in twelve months, after the return of the survey, and produced to the assistant register of the land-office in Kentucke, where it must lie six months, that prior locators may have time and opportunity toenter a caveat, and prove their better right. If no caveat is entered in that time, the plot and certificate are sent to the land-office at Richmond, in Virginia, and three months more are allowed to have the patent returned to the owner.> FILSON:37-38

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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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<A convenient situation for commerce is the grand hinge upon which the population, riches and happiness of every country greatly depends.> <Those who are acquainted with America know the Mississippi and Ohio rivers to be the key to the northern parts of the western continent.> The rivers of Kentucky <are of immense value to the country, affording fish and fowl, and transportation of the produce of the country to the best market.> <That country will be supplied with goods as cheap as if situated but forty miles from Philadelphia.> New Orleans is the great natural port of Western America. It is now possessed by the Spanish, but <when the western country becomes populous and ripe for trade, sound policy tells us the Floridas must be ours too.> FILSON:41, 47

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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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The people of Kentucky <are, in general, polite, humane, hospitable, and very complaisant. Being collected from different parts of the continent, they have a diversity of manners, customs and religions, which may in time perhaps be modified to one yniform. As yet united to the State of Virginia, they are governed by her wholesome laws, which are virtuously executed, and with excellent decorum.> FILSON:29

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    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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<We my conclude that Kentucke contains, at present, upwards of thirty thousand souls: So amazingly rapid has been the settlement in a few years. Numbers are daily arriving, and multitudes expected this Fall [1784]; which gives a well grounded expectation that the country will be exceedingly populous in a short time.> FILSON:28

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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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<This country is more temperate and healthy than the other settled parts of America. In Summer it wants the sandy heats which Virginia and Carolina experience, and receives a fine air from its rivers. In Winter, which at most only lasts three months, commonly two, and is but seldom severe, the people are safe in bad houses; and the beasts have a good supply without fodder.> FILSON:21

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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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In his description of the country, is careful to note the quality of the land ("first rate"), the availability of mill seats, the foliage ("good cane lands"). <When cultivated it produces in common fifty and sixty bushesl per acre; and I have heard it affirmed by credible persons, that above one hundred bushels of good corn were produced from an acre in one season.> In short it is <the most extraordinary country that the sun enlightens with his celestial beams.> FILSON:20-21, 24

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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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<This region was formerly claimed by various tribes of Indians; whose title, it they had any, originated in such a manner, as to render it doubtful which ought to possess it: Hence this fertile spot became an object of contention, a theatre of war, from which it was properly denominated the Bloody-Grounds.> FILSON:10

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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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5/12/1784 Endorsement: <We the Subscribers, inhabitants of Kentucke, and well acquainted with the country from its first settlement, at the request of the author of this book, and map, have carefully revised them, and recommend them to the public, as exceeding good performances, containing as accurate a description of our country as we think can possibly be give; much preferable to any in our knowledge extant; and think it will be of great utility to the publick. Witness our hands this 12th day of May, Anno Domini 1784, <Daniel Boon, <Levi Todd, <James Harrod.> FILSON:3

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    Created: 8/16/2017 9:14:39 PM
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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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At <the mouth of Limestone Creek [there] is a fine harbour for boats coming down the Ohio, and now a common landing. It is sixty-five miles from Lexington, to which there is a large waggon road.> FILSON:17

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    Created: 8/16/2017 9:15:12 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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Kentucky <remained concealed till about the year 1767, when one John Finley, and some others, trading with the Indians, fortunately travelled over the fertile region. . . . 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 discovery to Col. Daniel Boon, and a few more, who conceiving it to be an interesting object, agreeded in the year 1769 to undertake a journey in order to explore it.> FILSON:8

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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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Col Henderson, of North-Carolina, being informed of this country by Col. Boon, he, and some other gentlemen, held a treaty with the Cherokee Indians at Wataga, in March 1775, and then purchased from them the lands lying on the fourth side of Kentucke river for goods, at valuable rates, to the amount of six thousand pounds, specie.> FILSON:9-10

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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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<We behold our conduct, from whatsoever motives excited, operating to answer the important designs of heaven. Thus we behold Kentucke, lately an howling wilderness, the bahitation of savages and wild beasts, become a fruitful field; this region, so favourably distinguished by nature, now become the habitation of civilization, at a period unparalleled in history, in the midst of a raging war, and under all the disadvantages of emigration to a country so remote from the inhabitated parts of the continent.> FILSON:49-50

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    Created: 8/16/2017 9:18:18 PM
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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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Daniel by himself: <The idea of a beloved wife and family, and their anxiety upon the account of my absence and exposed situation, made sensible impressions on my heart. A thousand dreadful apprehensions presented themselves to my view, and had undoubtedly disposed me to melancholy, if further indulged.> He is revived. <One day I undertook a tour through the country, and the diversity and beauties of nature I met with in this charming season, expelled every gloomy and vexatious thought. Just at the close of day the gentle gales retired, and left the place to the disposal of a profound calm. Not a breeze shook the most tremulous leaf. I had gained the summit of a commanding ridge, and, looking round with astonishing delight, beheld the ample plains, the beauteous tracts below. On the other hand, I surveyed the famous river Ohio that rolled in silent dignity, marking the western boundary of Kentucke with inconceivable grandeur. At a vast distance I beheld the mountains lift their venerable brows, and penetrate the clouds. All things were still. I kindled a fire near a fountain of sweet water, and feasted on the loin of a buck, which a few hours before I had killed. The sullen shades of night soon overspread the whole hemisphere, and the earth seemed to gasp after the hovering moisture. My roving excursion this day had fatigued my body, and diverted my imagination. I laid me down to sleep, and I awoke not until the sun had chased away the night. I continued this tour, and in a few days explored a considerable part of the country, each day equally pleased as the first.> <Thus I was surrounded with plenty in the midst of want. I was happy in the midst of dangers and inconveniences. In such a diversity it was impossible I should be disposed to melancholy. No populous city, with all the varieties of commerce and stately structures, could afford so much pleasure to my mind, as the beauties of nature I found here.> FILSON:54-55,56

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    Created: 8/16/2017 9:18:51 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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<I have verified the saying of an old Indian who signed Col. Henderson's deed. Taking me by the hand, at the delivery thereof, Brother, says he, we have given you a fine land, but I believe you will have much trouble in settling it. -- My footsteps have often been marked with blood, and there I can truly subscribe to its original name. Two darling sons, and a brother, have I lost by savage hands, which have also taken from me forty valuable horses, and abundance of cattle. Many dark and sleepless nights have I been a companion for owls, separated from the chearful society of men, scorched by the Summer's sun, and pinched by the Winter's cold, an instrument ordained to settle the wilderness. But now the scene is changed: Peace crowns the sylvan shade. What thanks, what ardent and ceaseless thanks re due to that all-superindenting Providence which has turned a cruel war into peace, brought order out of confusion, made the fierce savages placid, and turned away their hostile weapons from our country! May the same Almighty Goodness banish the accursed monster, war, from all lands, with her hated associates, rapine and insatiable ambition. Let peace, descending from her native heaven, bid her olives spring amidst the joyful nations; and plenty, in league with commerce, scatter blessings from her copious hand. This account of my adventures will inform the reader of the most remarkable events of this country. -- I now live in peace and safety, enjoying the sweets of liberty, and the bounties of Providence, with my once fellow-sufferers, in this delightful country, which I have seen purchased with a vast expence of blood and treasure, delighting in the prospect of its being, in a short time, one of the most opulent and powerful states on the continent of North-America; which, with the love and gratitude of my country-men, I esteem a sufficient reward for all my toil and dangers.> FILSON:81-82

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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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<During our travels, the Indians entertained me well; and their affection for me was so great, that they utterly refused to leave me there [Detroit] with the others.> <I became a son, and had a great share in the affection of my new parents, brothers, sisters, and friends. I was exceedingly familiar and friendly with them, always appearing as chearful and satisfied as possible, and they put great confidence in me.> <The Shawanese king took great notice of me, and treated me with profound respect, and entire friendship, often entrusting me to hunt at my liberty.> FILSON:65

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    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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<Here let me observe, that for some time we had experienced the most uncomfortable weather as a prelibation of our future sufferings.> They are captured by Indians. <The time of our sorrow was now arrived, and the scene fully opened.> FILSON:51, 52

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    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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<We found every where abundance of wild beasts of all sorts, through this vast forest.> <Nature was here a series of wonders, and a fund of delight.> FILSON:51

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    Created: 8/16/2017 9:21:08 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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Squire and Daniel alone in Kentucky: <We were then in a dangerous, helpless situation, exposed daily to perils and death amongst the savages and wild beasts, not a white man in the country but ourselves. Thus situated, many hundred miles from our families in the howling wilderness, I believe few would have equally enjoyed the happiness we experienced. I often observed to my brother, You see now how little nature requires to be satisfied.> FILSON:53

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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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<I returned home to my family with a determination to bring them as soon as possible to live in Kentucke, which I esteemed a second paradise, at the risk of my life and fortune.> FILSON:57

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    Created: 8/16/2017 9:22:12 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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<My eldest son was one that fell int he action.> <The aspect of these cliffs is so wild and horrid, that it is impossible to behold them without terror.> FILSON:57,58

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    Created: 8/16/2017 9:22:48 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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<My wife and daughter being the first white women that ever stood on the banks of Kentucke river.> FILSON:60

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    Created: 8/16/2017 9:23:26 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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<Thus we passed through a scene of sufferings that exceeds description.> FILSON:62

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    Created: 8/16/2017 9:24:03 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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With Bowman's reinforcements: <The savages now learned the superiority of the Long Knife, as they call the Virginians, by experience; being out-generalled in almost every battle. Our affairs began to wear a new aspect.> FILSON:62

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    Created: 8/16/2017 9:24:29 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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    ID: 27-40-20949-28707
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1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

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<Being a hardy race of people, and accustomed to difficulties and necessities, they were wonderfully supported through all their sufferings.> FILSON:73

File: FLSN2.DR2



    Created: 8/16/2017 9:24:52 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20949-28708
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20949-28708


1784

John Filson, THE DISCOVERY, SETTLEMENT AND PRESENT STATE OF KENTUCKE (original ed., 1784; reprinted New York: Corinth Books, 1962)

Keywords
None.
People
None.
<Many widows were now made.> FILSON:77

File: FLSN2.DR2



    Created: 8/16/2017 9:25:22 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20949-28709
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20949-28709














    

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