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

Who Owned Kentucky?

Before we from the Clinch River arrived, Colonel Henderson had opened a land office in the fort, and was selling plantations to the people of this settlement, of Harrodstown, Hinkson's, and all the other stockades about, at the rate of thirteen and one third cents an acre. The colonel also brought over the trace goods to sell, charging our people big prices, even as he did for powder; but when he wanted to hire men to work for him at clearing land, or bringing burdens over the mountains, he was willing to pay only from thirty-three to fifty cents a day. The men could use up a day's pay in less than an hour's fighting with the Indians, and they did not think it right for the settlers to be obliged to buy powder and bullets at such a big price, only to use them in defending Colonel Henderson's land.

More than five hundred thousand acres of land had been sold, or spoken for, at the time Colonel Callaway's family joined us. I suppose the men were growing dissatisfied with paying out so much money when they could earn only very little, for each day the talk became warmer, until many of them insisted that the matter should be laid before the Assembly of Virginia, to learn whether Colonel Henderson's claim to the land was really just, simply because he had bought it from the Cherokees, when the Shawnees and all the other savages who hunted in Kentucky might claim the land as well.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

However, it was a long time before our men could have the matter settled, and those who had bought land were eager to begin work upon it, so that seeds might be planted in the early spring. Five or six, therefore, among whom was my father, set about cutting down trees with which to build a home outside the fort, some of them working a full mile and a half from the stockade.

Day after day passed and the Indians remained hidden in the forest; they were keeping a sharp watch over the fort, as we knew from the signs found by the hunters. When I wanted to go with Billy to see what father was doing, mother refused to let me wander farther from the gate than two hundred paces, saying again and again that an ounce of prevention was worth a pound of cure.