Our country is now taking the road by which it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence. — Thomas Jefferson

Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

Our Home on the Clinch

During the first two or three days we hardly realized the absence of our fathers, so busy were we all, and so accustomed to their being away from home scouting or hunting. We were not really alone, for only twelve miles away was a settlement of three cabins; therefore we had no reason to feel lonely, especially while there were so many of us under one roof.

In the Boone family were Israel, Susannah, Jemima, Lavinia, Rebecca, Daniel, and little Johnny, while in ours there were only Billy and I. Nine children and two mothers filled the cabin so full that we were really crowded, for the abandoned house we had found was by no means large.

There were two rooms on the ground and two above in the loft, with a window at the back of the building, which could not well be kept open in stormy weather, for we had neither oiled paper nor oil-soaked fawn skin to cover it. At the opposite end was a door made of a double thickness of stout puncheon planks, with bars so large that there was little danger the Indians could break it down, no matter how many might make an attack.

In addition to the knives carried by Israel and Billy, Mrs. Boone had two and mother one, but we had only two kettles,—one for each family, and when hot water was needed, there remained only the single dish for cooking food.

Billy found two of the nicest flat stones I ever saw, on which to bake journey cakes, and Jemima and I whittled out enough laurelwood spoons to supply each of us with one, and to leave a few to replace those that were likely to split when the food or water was too hot.

The man who built the cabin of which we had taken possession had made a long pen seven feet wide, running the entire length of the house, by placing cleft logs in a row ; the space between them and the side of the building served as a bed for all in the house. This we filled with fresh boughs, and we considered ourselves very fortunate in having a grove of pine trees within half a mile of the cabin. Mother says that the person who can make his bed of pine boughs has no right to complain.

[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