August 20, 2022

The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state in the eastern part of the United States. It was originally part of Virginia (Kentucky County, Virginia), but on June 1, 1792, it separated from Virginia and joined the Union, becoming the 15th state. It is bordered by West Virginia and Virginia to the east, Tennessee to the south, Missouri to the west, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to the north. The Ohio River flows to the north and the Mississippi River to the west. The 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, on the current five dollar bill is from Hardin, Kentucky. In the last two presidential elections, John McCain and Mitt Romney have won all of the state's electoral colleges.


Early History

As long as 12,000 years ago, Native Americans probably lived in the forests of what is now western Kentucky. Early European explorers found many different tribes in Kentucky. These tribes included the Cherokee, Delaware, Iroquois, and Shawnee.

Exploration and Settlement

Some British and French explorers probably visited Kentucky during the late 1600s and early 1700s. British explorers include Colonels Abram Wood, Gabriel Arthur and John Salling. Among the French explorers were Father Jacques Marquette, Louis Joliet and Rene-Robert Cablier de La Salle. In 1750, pioneer scout Thomas Walker entered Kentucky via Cumberland Gorge and made his first expedition to the eastern part of the province. In 1767, Daniel Boone explored eastern Kentucky. In 1769, he returned to Kentucky, and then spent two years in the Bluegrass region. In 1773, Boone led a group of settlers to Kentucky, but the Indians forced them to return. Simon Kenton explored northeastern Kentucky in 1773 and 1774. In 1774, James Harrod led a group of colonists from Pennsylvania. They established Harrodsburg, Kentucky's first permanent white settlement. Boone entered Kentucky in 1775 with a group of other settlers through the Cumberland Gorge. Boone settled along the Kentucky River and called his lands "Boonsboro". Mountains and forests stood between the sanctuaries of the settlers and American colonies. After the American Revolutionary War began, Indians sympathetic to the British forces repeated attacks on the inhabitants of Kentucky. The colonies could only provide little help to the settlers. Boone, Kenton and George Rogers Clark successfully defended Kentucky from Indian attack. In 1776, Kentucky became a county in Virginia. Many Virginians immigrated to Kentucky. The Indians, supplied with British weapons, continued to attack the settlers. In 1778, George Rogers Clark led a small group of men against three British settlements in northwestern Kentucky. Clark captured the settlements and stopped supplying British troops to the Indians. The Indians re-attacked the settlements and then rose less often.

State Status

In May 1792, the inhabitants of Kentucky adopted the Constitution, primarily in preparation for promotion. On June 1, 1792, Kentucky joined the United States as the 15th state. The independence war hero, Isaac Shelby, became the first governor, and was founded by Frankfort. In 1798, the United States Congress passed a series of statutes known as the Alien and Agitation Acts.