Henderson County, Kentucky

 

PIONEER TRAILS

 

In addition to the activity of General Samuel HOPKINS in disposing of the lots and lands of the proprietors and inducing immigration, it must be said that the representatives of the young State were awake to the importance of the times, and if Kentucky lagged, no fault could be laid at the door of the capital. Numerous difficulties, however, pressed hard around the faithful pioneers ignorance of the country, of the laws, and, above all, a lack of education. The great difficulty of communicating with the seat of Government, and the fact of being shut out from the few news centers of the world, were obstacles, which our forefathers were compelled to contend with.

In the settlement of disputed land claims, to bring order out of confusion, rightful owners of lands located and improved were oftentimes dislodged by the projected intrigues of designing sharpers. Surveyors were not so expert in those days, nor were the instruments used so faltless in design and manufacture as at this day. From these, and other causes, many of the early settlers became disheartened and returned to their former homes, or else emigrated to other parts of the country. Notwithstanding these drawbacks and innumerable uncertainties of breaking up homes in a settled State and removing with the winds, to one wild and comparatively unknown; notwithstanding the trials and perplexities to be surmounted in traveling over the wild and yet uninhabited territory, the population continued to increase.

Glorious stories of the flower-land were carried back to the Atlantic States, until many of the inhabitants, impressed with the importance of the new territory and the abundance in store for those who would seek it, determined one with another to emigrate and share with those who had preceded them, the riches of that charming land. With a horse and wagon, a buggy perhaps, a faithful wife and children, a dog and a gun, many ventured to leave their Eastern homes in search of this new land upon which it was said nature had lavishly showered its richest blessings. Young men, and old ones who had but a few years at best to live plodded along over mountains and through valleys, through forests and cane-brakes, unmindful of the dangers attending their every step. The women, undaunted, but as brave and fearless as the men, trudged their way, sharing those trials and dangers incident to the pilgrims' progress in many instances of State history exhibiting such marked courage and disregard of self-comfort and safety, in the face of dangers, as to nerve and strengthen their male protectors who were leading them to the great land of promise.

History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Edmund L. Starling, pgs 37 - 38


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Contributed by Netta Mullin, HCH&GS
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