Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

Making Ready for Cooking

Our first need was a fireplace and a chimney, so that mother might do some baking, the family being heartily sick of meat all the time, with no bread whatever.

Father and Billy soon had the chimney made of slender sticks, well protected by a coating of clay both inside and out, and I must say the work could not have been done better had they had stones and mortar.

The fireplace cost much more labor, for we could not easily find rocks sufficiently large, and Colonel Boone's strict command was that no one should be allowed to go farther than fifty paces from the gate of the fort.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

Mrs. Boone already had her cabin fitted for convenient cooking, therefore her children helped Billy and me in our search for rocks, while father brought a plentiful supply of mud. We did not succeed in baking a journey cake in our own house that night, but before another day came to a close we had at one end of the house as good a fireplace as could be found in any of the houses in Boonesborough.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

On that first night Mrs. Boone insisted that we do our cooking in her cabin, and I shall never forget how sweet was the journey cake mother made. A good cook she was, and is; but one can hardly expect her to show very much skill when she has only a fire built in front of a log in the forest, with such a stone as can be found most easily on which to spread the dough.

However, when she has a regular fireplace, with a flat rock, that seems to have been made especially for a pan, and with .the smoke and cinders flying up the chimney instead of directly upon the cake, she can do, as on that first night, nicer cooking than any other woman that ever lived.

We had no beds save the bare earth; but mother promised that we should soon be able to sleep in comfort, for turkeys and pigeons were so abundant that it would not take father many days, providing the Indians did not molest him, to bring home plenty of feathers.

When we lay down to sleep that night, I heard mother thanking God that we were finally in the land of Kentucky, and praying that Billy and I might grow up to be man and woman such as would honor Him and be of service to this colony we were helping to settle.

It surprised Jemima and me very much to learn how many people had already come into Kentucky. On the morning after our family arrived, I heard one of the men say that there is a settlement called Harrodstown about fifty miles west of us, and six or seven miles .from there is a fort known as Boiling Springs, in which two places live no less than a hundred people. North from here, so we heard, about forty miles, is Hinkson's, where are nineteen settlers, and lower down toward the Ohio River is still another fort named Miller's, in which are no less than eight men. Thus it can be seen that we of Boonesborough are not really alone in the wilderness.


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