Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

Camping at Nightfall

The men went on ahead, leaving the older boys to look after the women and children. Often and often we did not see them from the beginning of the journey in the morning until we made camp at night. A lean-to of branches and vines with a fire in front of it was our only shelter from the dew until we came through the Gap into Kentucky. Then, as there was danger from the Indians, we lay down on the ground.

There were days when we had really pleasant camping places, and the halt was made early in the after-noon that we might rest sufficiently. Then I was glad that we were going into that land which Mr. Boone said was so beautiful. At such times we had feasts of deer meat or turkeys roasted over a bed of glowing coals, with as much journey cake as we could eat sopped in meat drippings, which we had caught in dishes of bark.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

But the time came when we no longer dared to build a fire. We went hungry to bed on the ground with not even a lean-to for shelter, because it would have been dangerous to build a fire that might betray our whereabouts to the Indians.

It was one weary day after another. But there was less labor for us children because our fathers did not dare let us stray very far into the forest in search of the cattle or sheep, lest the Indians should find us.

I could not, if I would, set down the whole story of our climbing the hills until we came to Powell's Valley. There we had a view of the mountains which shut us out from the land in which we were to make new homes.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis


Front Matter

At Boonesborough
Beginning of the Story
Boone on the Yadkin
Boone Moves his Family
Ready for the Journey
What we Wore
Driving Cattle and Sheep
Camping at Nightfall
The Long Halt
Jimmy Boone Goes to Clinch
Murder of Jimmy Boone
A Time of Mourning
The Faint-hearted Return
A New Home
Making Moccasins
Tanning Leather
Governor Dunmore
Our Home on the Clinch
Household Duties
Attacked by a Wildcat
Fighting the Wildcat
Boone and Father Return
The Wilderness Road
Building the Forts
Gathering Salt
Our Home in the Fort
Ready for Cooking
Furnishing the House
The Hominy Block
The Supply of Water
Sports Inside the Fort
Wrestling and Running
Religion of the Indians
Indian Babies
Colonel Callaway Arives
News from Eastern Colonies
Venturing Outside the Fort
Dividing the Land
Who Owned Kentucky?
Ready to Build a Home
Billy's Hard Lot
Preparing Flax
Spinning and Soap Making
Broom Making
More Indian Murders
Indian "Signs"
Woodcraft and Hunting
Pelts Used as Money
Petition of the Settlers
Making Sugar
Building Fences
Capture of the Girls
My Willful Thoughts
Finding the Trail
The Pursuit
The Story Told by Jemima
Elizabeth's Heroism
Rescuing the Girls
Alarm Among the Settlers
Indians on the Warpath
The First Wedding
The Wedding Festivities
The Brides Home
The Housewarming
Attacks by the Indians
Besieged by the Savages
In the Midst of the Fight
The Assault by the Indians
Failure of the Assault
Watchfulness of the Indians
The Sortie
My Father Wounded
Our Wounded