Front Matter At Boonesborough Beginning of the Story Boone on the Yadkin Boone Moves his Family Ready for the Journey What we Wore Driving Cattle and Sheep Camping at Nightfall The Long Halt Jimmy Boone Goes to Clinch Murder of Jimmy Boone A Time of Mourning The Faint-hearted Return A New Home Making Moccasins Tanning Leather Governor Dunmore Our Home on the Clinch Household Duties Attacked by a Wildcat Fighting the Wildcat Boone and Father Return The Wilderness Road Building the Forts Boonesborough Gathering Salt Boonesborough Precautions Our Home in the Fort Ready for Cooking Furnishing the House The Hominy Block The Supply of Water Sports Inside the Fort Wrestling and Running Religion of the Indians Indian Babies Colonel Callaway Arives News from Eastern Colonies Venturing Outside the Fort Dividing the Land Who Owned Kentucky? Ready to Build a Home Billy's Hard Lot Preparing Flax Spinning and Soap Making Broom Making More Indian Murders Indian "Signs" Woodcraft and Hunting Pelts Used as Money Petition of the Settlers Making Sugar Building Fences Capture of the Girls My Willful Thoughts Finding the Trail The Pursuit The Story Told by Jemima Elizabeth's Heroism Rescuing the Girls Alarm Among the Settlers Indians on the Warpath The First Wedding The Wedding Festivities The Brides Home The Housewarming Attacks by the Indians Besieged by the Savages In the Midst of the Fight The Assault by the Indians Failure of the Assault Watchfulness of the Indians The Sortie My Father Wounded Our Wounded

Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

Broom Making

One who had never lived in the wilderness might suppose that on days when it was too stormy to work out of doors or to hunt, a boy could pass the time in the house as best suited him; but not so in Kentucky.

While clearing the land, whenever father came upon a small, straight-grained, hickory sapling that seemed fitted for the purpose, he brought it home with him at night, so that Billy might make brooms and brushes on stormy days, when he was forced to remain indoors.

I have seen my brother sit hour after hour splitting with infinite care the tiny fibers of wood from one end of the sapling up to the length of eight or ten inches, until he had made as perfect a brush as one formed of coarse hairs, save for the heart, or core, which was cut out because it was too brittle to split well. Around the fibers, within an inch or two of the top, a green withe was bound so tightly as to force outward the lower ends of the splints. If to be used as a broom, the handle, or upper part of the sapling, was left long; but as a brush around the fireplace, it was cut off much shorter.

It seemed as if we were living industrious, peaceful lives in Kentucky, and so we were during all too short a time. Even though it was probable the Indians were lurking about, our hunters were ever ready to take their lives in their hands in order to supply us with food, and hardly a day passed that we did not have turkeys, pigeons, or squirrels, and so many deer that I dreaded the time when once more we must set about the work of tanning, as we had done on the Clinch River.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

The knowledge that we were making a home for ourselves at the same time we bore our share in building up a town in the wilderness, really seemed to lighten the labor, severe though it was.