Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

Gathering Salt

I had never before seen a salt lick, and was much surprised because it was not so greatly different from other places. The earth had been trodden smooth and hard by the countless number of animals that had come to lick up the salt from the ground. There were many, many small springs of salt water which, wasted by the sun, had left a white powder all around, nothing more nor less than salt, for which we so. often hungered, or paid a large price. In order to get one bushel of the powder it was necessary to boil down eight hundred gallons of the water.

From every point through the cane and blue-grass plains were paths worn by the buffaloes, elks, deer, or bears, as they came for the salt, and here the hunters expected to get as much meat as would be needed, until we arrived at the fort.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

Jemima and I saw wild turkeys so fat that, when they dropped from a tree on being killed, their skins would burst. We ate their flesh until I hoped I might never see such a bird again, although many a time since we have been shut up here at Boonesborough, I have wished that we could have on the spit in our cabin just one of those plump turkeys as a change from journey cake and dried deer meat.

From Flat Lick on toward Boonesborough we crossed a dozen or more creeks, and were forced to run many a mile while keeping the cattle together; but we did not mind so long as our fathers did not find Indian signs such as would bring us to a halt.

When we came to the headwaters of the Dix River, those who had joined us at Powell's Valley struck off on a trace leading to a fort that had been built quite a distance from Boonesborough, by Mr. James Harrod. We were saddened at parting company with these people, but we were looking forward to our new home, which was pictured in our minds as the most beautiful spot on earth.

During the days which followed, no fresh signs of the savages appeared, and we pressed steadily on until coming to Blue Lick, where we halted to rest ourselves as well as the cattle. Here Colonel Boone and his wife, with Jemima and Susannah, started on ahead; so it happened that Mrs. Boone and her daughters were the first women to enter a settlement in Kentucky. The rest of the Boone family stayed with Billy and me.


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