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''[[United States|United States ]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]  [[United States Migration Internal|Migration ]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]  [[US Migration Trails and Roads|Trails and Roads ]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]  [[Kentucky_Road|Kentucky Road]]''  
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''[[United States|United States ]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]  [[United States Migration Internal|Migration ]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]  [[US Migration Trails and Roads|Trails and Roads ]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]  [[Kentucky_Road|Kentucky Road]]''[[Image:{{KentRdMap}}]]
  
The '''Kentucky Road''' was the first pathway to Middle Tennesse for white settlers. The Middle Tennessee pioneers of 1779 followed Daniel Boone's [[Wilderness Road]] through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky, but then split off that road and headed southwest on the north side of the Cumberland River toward the salt licks, hunting grounds, and prime farmlands of Middle Tennessee.<ref name="ETHSFirst">East Tennessee Historical Society, ''[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/44435788 First families of Tennessee: a register of early settlers and their present-day descendants]'' (Knoxville, Tenn.: East Tennessee Historical Society, c2000) [{{FHL|976.8 H2ff}}], 23-24.</ref>  
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The '''Kentucky Road''' was the first pathway to Middle Tennessee for American settlers. The Middle Tennessee pioneers of 1779 followed Daniel Boone's [[Wilderness Road]] via the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky, but then split off that road and headed southwest on the north side of the Cumberland River toward the salt licks, hunting grounds, and prime farmlands of Middle Tennessee.<ref name="ETHSFirst">East Tennessee Historical Society, ''[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/44435788 First Families of Tennessee: a Register of Early Settlers and Their Present-day Descendants]'' (Knoxville, Tenn.: East Tennessee Historical Society, c2000) [{{FHL|976.8 H2ff}}], 23-24.</ref>  
  
 
=== Historical Background  ===
 
=== Historical Background  ===
  
The '''Kentucky Road''' could also be described as a southern fork of the [[Wilderness Road]]. In 1779 [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watauga_Association Watauga] pioneers led by James Robertson followed the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap and across the Cumberland River. Then they made their way on the north side of the Cumberland River past the "Kentucky barrens" toward French Lick (Nashville, Tennessee).<ref name="ETHSFirst" /><ref name="null">Wikipedia Contributors, "Nashville, Tennessee" in ''Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashville,_Tennessee (accessed 6 August 2010).</ref>  
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The '''Kentucky Road''' could also be described as a southern fork of the [[Wilderness Road]]. In 1779 [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watauga_Association Watauga] pioneers led by James Robertson followed the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap and across the Cumberland River. Then they made their way on the north side of that river past the "Kentucky barrens" toward French Lick (now Nashville, Tennessee).<ref name="ETHSFirst" /><ref name="null">Wikipedia Contributors, "Nashville, Tennessee" in ''Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashville,_Tennessee (accessed 6 August 2010).</ref>  
  
This route was the primary trail to the Cumberland settlements at least until [[Avery's Trace]] was opened in 1788. Avery's could not carry wagons until about 1795, and was a difficult trail. Apparently some pioneers continued to chose the Kentucky Road route at first because wagons could follow it easier than on Avery's Trace.  
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This route was the primary trail to the Cumberland settlements at least until [[Avery's Trace]] was opened in 1788, and could accomadate wagons about 1795. Even then, Avery's was a difficult trail. Apparently some pioneers continued to&nbsp;select the Kentucky Road route as an alternate to the shorter Avery's Trace.  
  
[[Cherokee Indians|Cherokee Indians]] were&nbsp;at&nbsp;war&nbsp;([http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickamauga_wars Chickamauga Wars]) with the white pioneers until 1794. The hostilities started with&nbsp;[[Revolutionary War, 1775 to 1783|American War for Independence]]&nbsp;raids back and forth between Indians and whites. Cumberland settlers (including Donalson's flotilla in 1780)&nbsp;and pioneers on the Kentucky Road were subject to&nbsp;Indian raids.<ref>Wikipedia Contributors, "Chickamauga Wars (1776–1794)" in ''Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickamauga_Wars_(1776%E2%80%931794) (accessed 6 August 2010).</ref> After 1794 when the Indian threat ended, the white population of Middle Tennessee expanded rapidly.<ref>First Families, 24.</ref>&nbsp;
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[[Cherokee Indians|Cherokee Indians]] were at war ([http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickamauga_wars Chickamauga Wars]) with the American pioneers until 1794. The hostilities started with [[Revolutionary War, 1775 to 1783|American War for Independence]] raids back and forth between Indians allied with the British and American Patriot setters in East and Middle Tennessee. Cumberland settlers (including Donalson's flotilla in 1780) and pioneers on the Kentucky Road were subject to Indian raids.<ref>Wikipedia Contributors, "Chickamauga Wars (1776–1794)" in ''Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia'' at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickamauga_Wars_(1776%E2%80%931794) (accessed 6 August 2010).</ref> After 1794 when the Indian threat ended, the white population of Middle Tennessee expanded rapidly.<ref>''First Families'', 24-25.</ref>  
  
The [[Natchez Trace|Natchez Trace]] was probably the oldest overland way to reach French Lick. The Kentucky Road opended in 1779 and was soon followed by [[Avery's Trace|Avery's Trace]] in 1787. By 1795 the Walton Road took a slightly more southern route than Avery's. In 1796 the [[Natchez Trace|Natchez Trace]] was extented to the Ohio River. The Middle Cherokee Path was used to construct the [[Georgia Road|Georgia Road]] in 1805 from Athens, Georgia to Nashville, Tennessee. And in 1816 [[Jackson's Military Road|Jackson's Military Road]] was officially upgraded to connect New Orleans, Louisiana,&nbsp;with Nashville via a junction with the Natchez Trace at Tupelo, Mississippi.  
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The Kentucky Road, Avery's Trace, and the Natchez Trace Extension followed almost the same path through Davidson and Sumner counties in Tennessee. The [[Natchez Trace|Natchez Trace]], an old Indian trail also used by the French, was probably the oldest overland way to reach French Lick. The Kentucky Road opended in 1779 to American pioneers and was&nbsp;succeeded by [[Avery's Trace|Avery's Trace]] in 1787. By 1795 the Walton Road took a slightly more southern route than Avery's. In 1796 the [[Natchez Trace|Natchez Trace]] was extended to Limestone (Maysville, Kentucky) on the Ohio River. In 1805 the [[Georgia Road|Georgia Road]] followed part of the Middle Cherokee Path to connect Athens, Georgia to Nashville, Tennessee. And in 1816 the U.S. Congress officially upgraded [[Jackson's Military Road|Jackson's Military Road]] to connect New Orleans, Louisiana, with Nashville via a junction with the Natchez Trace at Tupelo, Mississippi.  
  
The Donalson flotilla of 1780 reached French Lick&nbsp;by drifting down&nbsp;the Tennessee River and then going up Cumberland River. Both rivers&nbsp; later&nbsp;had steamboat traffic.&nbsp;
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Pioneers also used rivers to reach Nashville. Enduring several Indian battles, the Donalson flotilla of 1780 reached French Lick by drifting down the Tennessee River and then&nbsp;making their way&nbsp;up the Cumberland River. Both rivers later had steamboat traffic.
  
 
=== Settlers and Records  ===
 
=== Settlers and Records  ===
  
Wataugans of Virginia and the Carolinas were the very first whitemen to use the Kentucky Road. They were soon followed by thousands of others. The Scots-Irish and Germans coming along the Great Valley Road reached northeast Tennessee and followed the Wilderness and Kentucky roads to Middle Tennessee. For the earliest pioneers see:  
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Wataugans of Virginia and the Carolinas were the very first Americans to use the Kentucky Road. They were soon followed by thousands of others. The Scots-Irish and Germans coming along the Great Valley Road reached northeast Tennessee and followed the Wilderness and Kentucky roads to Middle Tennessee. For the earliest pioneers see:  
  
 +
*East Tennessee Historical Society, ''[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/44435788 First families of Tennessee: a register of early settlers and their present-day descendants]'' (Knoxville, Tenn.: East Tennessee Historical Society, c2000) [{{FHL|976.8 H2ff}}].
 
*Doug Drake, Jack Masters, and Bill Puryear, ''[http://worldcat.org/oclc/456260002 Founding of the Cumberland, The First Atlas 1779-1804, Showing Who Came, How They Came, and Where They Put Down Roots]'' (Gallatin, Tenn.&nbsp;: Warioto Press, ©2009) [{{FHL|976.8 E7d}}]. Includes gorgeous art, and extensive pioneer family land grant data. Also see their Internet site below.
 
*Doug Drake, Jack Masters, and Bill Puryear, ''[http://worldcat.org/oclc/456260002 Founding of the Cumberland, The First Atlas 1779-1804, Showing Who Came, How They Came, and Where They Put Down Roots]'' (Gallatin, Tenn.&nbsp;: Warioto Press, ©2009) [{{FHL|976.8 E7d}}]. Includes gorgeous art, and extensive pioneer family land grant data. Also see their Internet site below.
  

Latest revision as of 05:14, 11 August 2010

United States  Gotoarrow.png  Migration  Gotoarrow.png  Trails and Roads  Gotoarrow.png  Kentucky Road
The Kentucky Road (in red) was a southern spur of the Wilderness Road. The first Americans to settle near Nashville blazed the Kentucky Road in 1779. They started in east Tennessee. Later pioneers used other trails to reach Nashville.

The Kentucky Road was the first pathway to Middle Tennessee for American settlers. The Middle Tennessee pioneers of 1779 followed Daniel Boone's Wilderness Road via the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky, but then split off that road and headed southwest on the north side of the Cumberland River toward the salt licks, hunting grounds, and prime farmlands of Middle Tennessee.[1]

Contents

Historical Background

The Kentucky Road could also be described as a southern fork of the Wilderness Road. In 1779 Watauga pioneers led by James Robertson followed the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap and across the Cumberland River. Then they made their way on the north side of that river past the "Kentucky barrens" toward French Lick (now Nashville, Tennessee).[1][2]

This route was the primary trail to the Cumberland settlements at least until Avery's Trace was opened in 1788, and could accomadate wagons about 1795. Even then, Avery's was a difficult trail. Apparently some pioneers continued to select the Kentucky Road route as an alternate to the shorter Avery's Trace.

Cherokee Indians were at war (Chickamauga Wars) with the American pioneers until 1794. The hostilities started with American War for Independence raids back and forth between Indians allied with the British and American Patriot setters in East and Middle Tennessee. Cumberland settlers (including Donalson's flotilla in 1780) and pioneers on the Kentucky Road were subject to Indian raids.[3] After 1794 when the Indian threat ended, the white population of Middle Tennessee expanded rapidly.[4]

The Kentucky Road, Avery's Trace, and the Natchez Trace Extension followed almost the same path through Davidson and Sumner counties in Tennessee. The Natchez Trace, an old Indian trail also used by the French, was probably the oldest overland way to reach French Lick. The Kentucky Road opended in 1779 to American pioneers and was succeeded by Avery's Trace in 1787. By 1795 the Walton Road took a slightly more southern route than Avery's. In 1796 the Natchez Trace was extended to Limestone (Maysville, Kentucky) on the Ohio River. In 1805 the Georgia Road followed part of the Middle Cherokee Path to connect Athens, Georgia to Nashville, Tennessee. And in 1816 the U.S. Congress officially upgraded Jackson's Military Road to connect New Orleans, Louisiana, with Nashville via a junction with the Natchez Trace at Tupelo, Mississippi.

Pioneers also used rivers to reach Nashville. Enduring several Indian battles, the Donalson flotilla of 1780 reached French Lick by drifting down the Tennessee River and then making their way up the Cumberland River. Both rivers later had steamboat traffic.

Settlers and Records

Wataugans of Virginia and the Carolinas were the very first Americans to use the Kentucky Road. They were soon followed by thousands of others. The Scots-Irish and Germans coming along the Great Valley Road reached northeast Tennessee and followed the Wilderness and Kentucky roads to Middle Tennessee. For the earliest pioneers see:

Internet Sites

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 East Tennessee Historical Society, First Families of Tennessee: a Register of Early Settlers and Their Present-day Descendants (Knoxville, Tenn.: East Tennessee Historical Society, c2000) [FHL 976.8 H2ff], 23-24.
  2. Wikipedia Contributors, "Nashville, Tennessee" in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashville,_Tennessee (accessed 6 August 2010).
  3. Wikipedia Contributors, "Chickamauga Wars (1776–1794)" in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickamauga_Wars_(1776%E2%80%931794) (accessed 6 August 2010).
  4. First Families, 24-25.

 

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