Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

Furnishing the House

Father soon made our home as nearly as possible like the one we had left on the Yadkin. Because we had loaded our one pack horse with such farming tools as it was believed would be needed immediately after we arrived, mother and I had little or nothing with which to set up housekeeping. It seemed as if we were well supplied with conveniences when the fireplace was ready for use, and we had exactly such a stone for baking journey cake as one could desire.

On our long journey we had been able to buy meal now and then; sometimes, it is true, we were forced to go without it. But here in the fort each must grind his own corn, or eat it whole; so father made his first purchase in Kentucky when he bought a hand mill of a settler who had determined to go back over the Wilderness Road, so fearful was he lest the Indians might succeed in capturing the fort.

We had never owned such a thing, for on the Yadkin there was a water mill, to which Billy and I carried the corn for grinding; therefore this machine was to us almost a curiosity.

It required two men to set the mill up in one corner of our cabin. First, there is a large rock, called the bedstone, nearly the size of a small cart wheel and rough on the upper side; on top is placed another of the same size, with a large opening into which the grain can be poured. This rock is called the runner. Around these two, encircling them as a hoop does a barrel, is a broad band of wood with a spout in one side to let the meal run out when the corn has been ground.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

Another hole, but shallow, in the upper surface of the runner, near the outer edge, is intended for a pole fastened in firmly, its upper end running into a hole in a puncheon made fast to the floor above; thus two people may work at turning the runner and divide the labor.

It is not easy to move this upper rock around on the bedstone because of its roughness, so when Billy and I work the mill, mother or father must help us start it; but once in motion we can keep it going and feed in the corn at the same time, although it is wearisome labor.


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