Friday, May 1, 2009

friday's frontier facts

If you were a settler on the Kentucky frontier in 1777, you needed a great deal of common sense and stamina mixed with a tremendous amount of courage. The worst brand a man could have in this time period, per my research, was that of a coward. Laziness was also condemned. Men were run out of the frontier settlements for both. It helped if you were quick on your feet and could reload your rifle on the run. Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton were among the few who could. Looks like Boone has blue running shoes on here. They were, in fact, moccasins as he dressed like an Indian much of the time. He learned to fight like an Indian, too, which helped in the defense of Kentucky. But I digress! Can you tell this is a favorite topic of mine?

Kentuckians had very colorful, formidable enemies in the woods, primarily the Shawnee and Cherokee. The Shawnee are my personal favorite as their language is so melodic and they had some stellar orators and statesmen among them. There are records of white officials being in awe of their eloquence and intelligence. So much for the ignorant savage!

Kentucky boasts some awesome tales of settlers vanishing in the woods never to be seen again. The two most dangerous occupations in frontier Kentucky were surveying and salt-making. The Indian shown here is a fair representation of what awaited those who chose to live in the territory George Rogers Clark described this way in 1775: "A richer and more beautiful country than this, I believe has never been seen in America yet."

Only 14 more Fridays till The Frontiersman's Daughter is released. If you're wanting a wonderful frontier novel in the interim, I highly recommend James Alexander Thom's Follow the River and Long Knife. There isn't a lot of frontier fiction like it on the market today except for J.M. Hochstetler's very well-written,The American Patriot Series. If you can recommend any good books of this sort that I've overlooked I'd love to add them to my list.

Happy Friday!

Kentucky Ancestors, Volume 44, No.1
Frontier Living, Edwin Tunis


  1. yikes! I don't think I'd want to get on his bad side! I suppose that was the whole reason for the look... to intimidate/frighten the enemy.

  2. Yep, I think some settlers just passed out and were scalped. He is very scary and true to the period!

    Have a wonderful day celebrating Lindsey, Lisa:)