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Stories of Old Kentucky
written by "Purcell, Martha Grassham"
...the coast of North Carolina. Upon their return, Queen Elizabeth named it Virginia. Kentucky was included in the charter of this first colony, which was settled at Jamestown, 1607. The first Englishman to view what is now Kentucky was Colonel Wood, who in 1654, for commerce and not conquest, explored the northern boundary of Kentucky as far as the Mississippi River, then called the Meschacebe. Captain Bolt (or Batt) of Virginia in 1670 came from that state into what is now Kentucky. In 1673 Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit missionary, in company with Luis Joliet and five other Frenchmen in two canoes passed down the Mississippi along the western border of Kentucky and spent several days at the mouth of the Ohio, where Cairo, then called Ouabouskigou, now stands. Again in February, 1682, Robert de la Salle and his lieutenant, Henri de Tonti, in company with several other Frenchmen, descended the Illinois River, and passed down the Mississippi, or Colbert, to its mouth, claiming the country on both sides for the French king, Louis the Great, in whose honor they called this vast tract Louisiana. It was as a prisoner among the Indians in 1730 that the first white native American, John Sailing of Virginia, was taken to Kentucky. In 1750 a party of[22] Virginians, among them Dr. Thomas Walker, came by way of Powell's Valley through a gap in Laurel Mountain, into central Kentucky. He named both the mountain and the river (formerly the Shawnee) for England's "Bloody Duke" of Cumberland who defeated the Scottish forces at Culloden. Some say that near where they entered what is now the state of Kentucky these men built a rude cabin. But it was left for John Finley and party, 1767, to learn and love this wonderland of fertile soil, towering forests, luxuriant vegetation, and boundless supply of game. When he returned to North Carolina with such glowing accounts of this wilderness beyond the mountains, many were ready to leave the comforts...

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