“Daniel Drake Pioneer Life in Kentucky

An Interesting Read….

Excerpt from “Daniel Drake Pioneer Life in Kentucky

...“There were a number of motives which accounted for the spectacular migration to the West (Kentucky).  Land was cheap and an inhabitant of the Atlantic states could sell his hundred acres  and acquire,in Kentucky,over a thousand .  The desire for adventure or for acquisition of riches in a newly developing territory played a part.  Some  wished to escape  persecution  for debt or crime.  Taxes were high in the Seaboard states. The climate was milder than in the more northerly Atlantic states, though this deterred at least on Pennsylvania German as reported by Schoepf ( Travels in the Confederation,1783-1784,…) “He had heard that in Kentucky there is no real winter; and where there is no winter, he argued, people must work year in ,  year out, and that was not his fancy; winter, with a warm stove and sluggish days, being indispensable to his happiness.”

I have often wondered why it took the New Englanders so long to migrate in a southwardly direction  to our milder winters.  I did come to the conclusion there is great security in knowing “ just what you got” therefore you would have a tendency to “stay put”.  Also I never underestimated the tremendous amount of effort it took to carve a settlement out of a wilderness.  But it never occurred to me the milder winters would be a deterrent.

At present I am reading “Daniel Drake  Pioneer Life in Kentucky.”  Daniel Drake was born in 1785 and at the age of 15 he began his studies to become a pioneer physician in Fort Washington Kentucky. (Cincinnati) The book consist of letters he wrote to his children to record his recollection of his frontier.  Great book. 


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