Kentucky History - the history of Kentucky
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Kentucky   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Kentucky History

   
 

Kentucky History


Although Kentucky had been inhabited by Native American peoples since prehistoric times, when white settlers began to first arrive in the mid 18th century, there were no permanent Native American settlements in the area. The territory was instead used as hunting grounds by the Cherokees and Shawnees

The first documented expedition to Kentucky was by Dr. Thomas Walker in 1750, but the most famous of the early explorers was Daniel Boone who visited the region on hunting expeditions in 1767, 1769, 1771 and 1772, and in 1773 began the first attempt by British colonists to establish a settlement in Kentucky.

Most of Kentucky was purchased from the Native Americans in the treaties of 1768 and 1775, the latter coming after a brief war (Dunmore's War) between the Shawnee and the colonists. During the American Revolution (1775 to 1783), there were relatively few white settlers in the region, and the Shawnee allied with the British in an attempt to drive them out.

The Kentucky settlements were originally parts of Virginia, but following the American Revolution (1775 to 1783), the residents petitioned for separation from Virginia. Agreement on the terms of separation was reach in 1790, and on June 1st 1792, Kentucky was admitted as the 15th state of the Union.

During the American Civil War (1861 to 1865), Kentucky while loyal to the Union, found itself in a difficult position as a border state. The state did not secede and initially declared itself neutral. However the state was invaded by Confederate forces in September 1861, and the State Legislature responded by declaring its allegiance to the Union. During the war, southern sympathesizers attempted to establish an alternative state government (which was in fact recognized by, and admitted into the Confederacy), and Kentucky contributed troops to both the Union and Confederate armies.

Following the war, Kentucky, as a former slave state, was subject to military occupation and Reconstruction. During this period, the Ku Klux Klan became active in the state.

In the first half of the 20th century, Kentucky began to industrialize with the establishment of a coal mining industry, the creation of roads to accommodate automobiles, and the building of the Kentucky Dam on the Tennessee River. Industrialization was further boosted during World War II, with Ford's Louisville plant producing more than 100,000 jeeps, and the growth of the artificial rubber industry and establishment of an ordinance plant (both also in Louisville).


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A New History of Kentucky

By James C. Klotter

University Press of Kentucky
Released: 2018-10-22
Hardcover (560 pages)

A New History of Kentucky
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When originally published, A New History of Kentucky provided a comprehensive study of the Commonwealth, bringing it to life by revealing the many faces, deep traditions, and historical milestones of the state. With new discoveries and findings, the narrative continues to evolve, and so does the telling of Kentucky's rich history. In this second edition, authors James C. Klotter and Craig Thompson Friend provide significantly revised content with updated material on gender politics, African American history, and cultural history. This wide-ranging volume includes a full overview of the state and its economic, educational, environmental, racial, and religious histories.

At its essence, Kentucky's story is about its people―not just the notable and prominent figures but also lesser-known and sometimes overlooked personalities. The human spirit unfolds through the lives of individuals such as Shawnee peace chief Nonhelema Hokolesqua and suffrage leader Madge Breckinridge, early land promoter John Filson, author Wendell Berry, and Iwo Jima flag–raiser Private Franklin Sousley. They lived on a landscape defined by its topography as much as its political boundaries, from Appalachia in the east to the Jackson Purchase in the west, and from the Walker Line that forms the Commonwealth's southern boundary to the Ohio River that shapes its northern boundary. Along the journey are traces of Kentucky's past―its literary and musical traditions, its state-level and national political leadership, and its basketball and bourbon. Yet this volume also faces forthrightly the Commonwealth's blemishes―the displacement of Native Americans, African American enslavement, the legacy of violence, and failures to address poverty and poor health.

A New History of Kentucky
ranges throughout all parts of the Commonwealth to explore its special meaning to those who have called it home. It is a broadly interpretive, all-encompassing narrative that tells Kentucky's complex, extensive, and ever-changing story.

A Concise History of Kentucky

By James C. Klotter

Brand: The University Press of Kentucky
Released: 2008-03-01
Paperback (256 pages)

A Concise History of Kentucky
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Kentucky is most commonly associated with horses, tobacco fields, bourbon, and coal mines. There is much more to the state, though, than stories of feuding families and Colonel Sanders' famous fried chicken. Kentucky has a rich and often compelling history, and James C. Klotter and Freda C. Klotter introduce readers to an exciting story that spans 12,000 years, looking at the lives of Kentuckians from Native Americans to astronauts. The Klotters examine all aspects of the state's history―its geography, government, social life, cultural achievements, education, and economy. A Concise History of Kentucky recounts the events of the deadly frontier wars of the state's early history, the divisive Civil War, and the shocking assassination of a governor in 1900. The book tells of Kentucky's leaders from Daniel Boone and Henry Clay to Abraham Lincoln, Mary Breckinridge, and Muhammad Ali. The authors also highlight the lives of Kentuckians, both famous and ordinary, to give a voice to history. The Klotters explore Kentuckians' accomplishments in government, medicine, politics, and the arts. They describe the writing and music that flowered across the state, and they profile the individuals who worked to secure equal rights for women and African Americans. The book explains what it was like to work in the coal mines and explains the daily routine on a nineteenth-century farm. The authors bring Kentucky's story to the twenty-first century and talk about the state's modern economy, where auto manufacturing jobs are replacing traditional agricultural work. A collaboration of the state historian and an experienced educator, A Concise History of Kentucky is the best single resource for Kentuckians new and old who want to learn more about the past, present, and future of the Bluegrass State.

How Kentucky Became Southern: A Tale of Outlaws, Horse Thieves, Gamblers, and Breeders (Topics In Kentucky History)

By Maryjean Wall

Brand: The University Press of Kentucky
Paperback (304 pages)

How Kentucky Became Southern: A Tale of Outlaws, Horse Thieves, Gamblers, and Breeders (Topics In Kentucky History)
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The conflicts of the Civil War continued long after the conclusion of the war: jockeys and Thoroughbreds took up the fight on the racetrack. A border state with a shifting identity, Kentucky was scorned for its violence and lawlessness and struggled to keep up with competition from horse breeders and businessmen from New York and New Jersey. As part of this struggle, from 1865 to 1910, the social and physical landscape of Kentucky underwent a remarkable metamorphosis, resulting in the gentile, beautiful, and quintessentially southern Bluegrass region of today.

In her debut book, How Kentucky Became Southern: A Tale of Outlaws, Horse Thieves, Gamblers, and Breeders, former turf writer Maryjean Wall explores the post–Civil War world of Thoroughbred racing, before the Bluegrass region reigned supreme as the unofficial Horse Capital of the World. Wall uses her insider knowledge of horse racing as a foundation for an unprecedented examination of the efforts to establish a Thoroughbred industry in late-nineteenth-century Kentucky. Key events include a challenge between Asteroid, the best horse in Kentucky, and Kentucky, the best horse in New York; a mysterious and deadly horse disease that threatened to wipe out the foal crops for several years; and the disappearance of African American jockeys such as Isaac Murphy. Wall demonstrates how the Bluegrass could have slipped into irrelevance and how these events define the history of the state.

How Kentucky Became Southern offers an accessible inside look at the Thoroughbred industry and its place in Kentucky history.

The Hunters of Kentucky: A Narrative History of America's First Far West, 1750-1792

By Ted Franklin Belue

Stackpole Books
Released: 2011-07-20
Paperback (336 pages)

The Hunters of Kentucky: A Narrative History of America s First Far West, 1750-1792
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The Hunters of Kentucky covers a wide range of frontier existence, from daily life and survival to wars, exploits, and even flora and fauna. the pioneers and their lives are profiled in biographical sketches, giving a rich sampling of the personalities involved in the United States' westward expansion. Author Ted Franklin Belue's colorful, vivid prose brings these long-forgotten frontiersmen to life.

  • Covers the American invasion and settling of the Kentucky frontier
  • Includes such frontier personalities as Daniel Boone, John Redd, Michael Cassidy, and Nicholas Cresswell
  • SCOTS AND SCOTCH IRISH: Frontier Life in North Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky

    By Larry J. Hoefling

    Inlandia Press
    Paperback (160 pages)

    SCOTS AND SCOTCH IRISH: Frontier Life in North Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky
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    They left Ireland by the boatload to head for America before the Revolution, and settled on the rugged western frontiers of the colonies. The descendants of Scotsmen who had colonized the Irish Kingdom of Ulster, they lived for several generations on Irish soil before heading across the Atlantic and the backwoods of America. They founded communities in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and the Yadkin River valley of western North Carolina, eventually crossing the Cumberland Gap for the Kentucky frontier. For those Scots-Irish immigrants, life was a test of hardiness, hardship, and endurance, but frontier families also managed time for horseracing, gambling, and socializing - despite their strict Presbyterian ways. They founded churches and helped mold the governments of the new country. Scots and Scotch Irish offers a view of that time and place, along with thousands of names of those early settlers, drawn from church records, military rolls, deeds, court records, and newspapers of the time, all listed alphabetically in a series of appendices by source.

    A History of Kentucky

    By Thomas Dionysius Clark

    Brand: J. Stuart Foundation
    Hardcover (531 pages)

    A History of Kentucky
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    New edition of original 1937 publication. Clark writes about Kentucky in her proper setting in the national picture. This standard college history text includes bibliographical references and index.

    A Culinary History of Kentucky: Burgoo, Beer Cheese and Goetta (American Palate)

    By Fiona Young-Brown

    The History Press
    Released: 2014-04-01
    Paperback (160 pages)

    A Culinary History of Kentucky: Burgoo, Beer Cheese and Goetta (American Palate)
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    Pull up a chair to the kitchen table and enjoy a delicious adventure through Bluegrass food history. Kentucky's cuisine can be traced back to Cherokee, Irish, Scottish, English and German roots, among others. A typical Kentucky meal might have the standard meat and three, but there are many dishes that can't be found anywhere else. Poke sallet, despite its toxic roots and berries, is such a favorite in parts of eastern Kentucky that an annual festival celebrates it. Find recipes for dishes from burgoo to hog to moonshine and frogs. Join author Fiona Young-Brown as she details all the delectable delights sure to make the mouth water.

    Mysterious Kentucky Vol. 1: The History, Mystery and Unexplained of the Bluegrass State

    By Barton M Nunnelly

    CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
    Paperback (240 pages)

    Mysterious Kentucky Vol. 1: The History, Mystery and Unexplained of the Bluegrass State
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    What do UFO's, Bigfoot, Pterosaurs, Leprechauns, Lizard Men, Water Monsters and Werewolves all have in common? They have all been encountered in the Bluegrass State! In "Mysterious Kentucky," the reader will discover how Kentucky ranks as one of the strangest states in America and lays claim to an astounding number of bizarre events and is haunted by a plethora of unexplained phenomena that is sure to send shivers down the spines of even the most hardened anomaly buffs. Does Bigfoot really prowl the lonely bottomlands and virgin forests of the region? According to thousands of Kentuckians he does! And he does not walk here alone - in addition to this man-beast, readers will also discover the "Beast of LBL," the "Spottsville Monster," a pack of terrifying werewolves, water creatures that lurk beneath Kentucky lakes and rivers, and more! You will also explore the state's mysterious past, complete with vanished races, diminutive beings and impossibly ancient cultures and the anomalous artifacts they left behind. Find out what secrets the ancient Native American burial mounds and immense cave systems conceal; like giant human skeletal remains, petrified mummies and more! With mysteries in the sky, on the land and in the water, "Mysterious Kentucky" has it all and is sure to satisfy anyone with a taste for the unknown. Discover why Kentucky was called "the dark and bloody ground" - if you dare!

    The Kentucky Derby: 101 Reasons to Love America's Favorite Horse Race

    By Mary Tiegreen

    Stewart, Tabori and Chang
    Hardcover (128 pages)

    The Kentucky Derby: 101 Reasons to Love America s Favorite Horse Race
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    Long shots and closers. Secretariat, War Admiral, Citation, and Seattle Slew. The astonishing ride of Mine That Bird. The lovable spirit of Smarty Jones. Trainers and owners. A sea of spectacular hats. A classic mint julep in a silver cup. The break from the gate. Photo finishes. Holding the winning ticket. These are only a few of the things that make the Kentucky Derby the most exciting two minutes in sports.
     
    The Kentucky Derby offers a compendium of the legendary horses and rich history, the personalities, and the real-life experience of Derby Day from the backstretch to the winner’s circle. With colorful anecdotes and striking photography, Sheri Seggerman and Mary Tiegreen have captured the rivalries, fanfare, and unpredictability that give the Run for the Roses its allure. The third title in a series that celebrates the nation’s most iconic sporting events, The Kentucky Derby captures the pageantry and the passion of this great American race.

    Hidden History of Western Kentucky

    By Berry Craig

    The History Press
    Released: 2011-10-25
    Paperback (144 pages)

    Hidden History of Western Kentucky
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    What makes western Kentucky so unique? Sometimes it seems as if the history of this distinctive region lies buried deep within its awe-inspiring cave systems. Join western Kentucky historian Berry Craig as he penetrates the depths of the region's lesser-known history and brings to light the people, places and events that have shaped Kentucky's west. People like Fate Marable, the Paducah-born jazz innovator whose roving Kentucky Jazz Band featured a young Louis Armstrong. Places like Wheel, the tiny town in Graves County that gave birth to a vice president. And forgotten feuds like the 1900 Christmas Eve shootout in Mayfield that left a deputy dead. These stories, and many others, ensure that western Kentucky's hidden history will no longer linger in the shadows.


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