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Middlesboro in Bell County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

Stories of a journey through the Wilderness, into Kentucke..

 
 
Stories of a journey through the Wilderness, into Kentucke... Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, November 10, 2022
1. Stories of a journey through the Wilderness, into Kentucke... Marker
Inscription.  We went four miles to a large Creek, which we called Cedar Creek, being a Branch of Bear-Grass, and from thence Six miles to Cave Gap, the land being Levil. On the North side of the Gap is a large Spring, which falls, very fast, and just above the Spring is a small Entrance to a large Cave, which the Spring runs through, and there is a constant Stream of Cool air issuing out. The Spring is sufficient to run a Mill... On the South side is a plain Indian Road. On the top of the Ridge are Laurel Trees marked with crosses, others Blazed and several Figures on them... The Mountain on the North Side of the Gap is very Steep and Rocky, but on the South side it is not so. We called it Steep Ridge. At the foot of the hill on the North West Side we came to a Branch, that made a great deal of flat Land.
-Dr. Thomas Walker
April 14. 1750, the first written record of the discovery of Cumberland Gap

At a vast distance I beheld the mountains lift their venerable brows, and penetrate the clouds. All things were still. I kindled a fire near a fountain of sweet water, and feasted on the loin of a buck, which a few hours before
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I had killed. The sullen shades of night soon overspread the whole hemisphere, and the earth seemed to gasp after the hovering moisture. My roving excursion this day had fatigued my body, and diverted my imagination. I laid me down to sleep, and I awoke not until the sun had chased away the night.
We were then in a dangerous, helpless situation, exposed daily to perils and death amongst savages and wild beasts, with not a white man in the country but ourselves. Thus situated, many hundred miles from our families in the howling wilderness, I believe few would have equally enjoyed the happiness we experienced.

-Daniel Boone Fryday April 7th this morning is a very bad snowey morning we still continue at camp being in number about 40 men and some neagros this Eaven-Comes a letter from Capt. Boone at caintuck of the Indians doing mischief and some turns back.
Saturday April 8th-We all pack up and started crost Cumberland gap about one oclock this day Met a good maney people turned Back for fear of the Indians but our company goes on Still with good courage we come to very ugly Creek with steep Banks and have it to cross several times on this Creek we camp this night.
-William Calk
Journey from Prince William County, Va. To Boonesboro, Ky April, 1775

Just before we got to the foot of Cumberland Mountains the company three
Stories of a journey through the Wilderness, into Kentucke... Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, November 10, 2022
2. Stories of a journey through the Wilderness, into Kentucke... Marker
quarters of a mile ahead of us had all their horses stolen. They could do nothing better than to just turn their feather beds loose. They could do nothing with them. We never saw any Indians and were not interrupted. t was most afraid coming down the Cumberland Mountain. The place was narrow and rocky. Stood up on either side, not broader than a house. Woods more beautiful in Cumberland Valley than any other place.
One Mitchell was the first I knew killed by the Indians on the Wilderness Road. That was in 1776. When they got back to the first stations in Powell's Valley in June 1776, they found the place all deserted and everything standing, even to the milk pails on the stumps, as if they had been abruptly forsaken. Mitchell was killed just on this side of the Cumberland Mountain.
- Jane Gay Stevenson
Born Nov. 15th, 1750. Rev. John Dabney Shane Interview

We went on our Jurney and came in sight of the noted place called Cumberland Gap. We encamped all night (yet we was 3 Or 4 Mile off) in a wast Cabin and it was a Rainey blustery night. When Morning came the weather was clear, and after we ate our breakfast a little after sunrise we perssed on our Jurney. When we got near to the Gap at a forril branch where the war road comes in the Kentucky road (this Indian Road Crosses the Gap at this place from the Cherekeys to the shoney town).
Stories of a journey through the Wilderness, into Kentucke... Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, November 10, 2022
3. Stories of a journey through the Wilderness, into Kentucke... Marker
And at this branch where the indian road comes in we saw fresh Indian tracks.
Daniel Trabue
Recollections, Spring of 1778

In Sept, a company was Formed Consisting of eight or ten families all rode upon horses and upon other horses were placed the farming and cooking utensils, beds and bedding, weaving apparel, provisions and last but not least, the libraries, consisting of two bibles, half a dozen testaments, the Cathechism...Each man and boy carried his rifle and ammunition, and each woman her pistol, for the journey was mostly through a wilderness.
-Captain James Trimble
Emigrated to Kentucky from Virginia
The trip was describe by his wife Jane Allen Trimble year 1783-1784

July 3-Crossed Cumberland river;...traveled over the mountain a good gap, and having left the Indian warpath about a mile, my fellow travelers thought themselves safe, but the next morning we had not traveled 8 miles, before we learnt that the Indians had been doing damage in the neighborhood.
-James Nourse
1775

I cannot omit Noticing the many distressed tunities I passed in the Wilderness nor can any thing be more distressing a man of feeling than to see women and children in the Month of December Traveling a Wilderness through ke and Snow passing large rivers and creeks with out shoes or stockings and barely as many rags
Stories of a journey through the Wilderness, into Kentucke... Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, November 10, 2022
4. Stories of a journey through the Wilderness, into Kentucke... Marker
as covers their Nakedness without money or provisions except what the Wilderness affords.
Moses Austin
A Merchant whose emigration from Connecticut in 1796 took him through the Gap

October 20- Soon after we left our encampment we came in sight of Cumberland Tap and about an hour after passed thro the same. This is a very noted place on account of the great number of people who have here unfortunately fallen à prey to savage cruelty or barbarity. The mountain in the gap is neither very steep nor high, but the almost inaccessible cliffs on either side the raid render it a place peculiar for doing mischief. However we passed it without molestation, or seeing any sign of Indians, except one mockerson brack.
Rev. James Smith
1783

Whole Indian nations have melted away like snowballs in the sun before the white man's advance.
We had hoped that the white men would not be willing to travel beyond the mountains. Now that hope is gone. They have passed the mountains, and have settled upon Cherokee land. They wish to have that action sanctioned by treaty. Finally the whole country, which the Cherokees and their fathers have so long occupied, will be demanded and the remnant of Ani-Yunwiya, THE REAL PEOPLE, once so great and formidable, will be compelled to seek refuge in some distant wilderness.
Such treaties may be alright
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for men who are too old to hunt or fight. As for me, I have my young warriors about me. We will have our lands. A-WANINSKI, I have spoken.
-Dragging Canoe (Tsi yu-gunsini)
Cherokee War Chief, Treaty of Sycamore Shoals of 1775
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical date for this entry is April 14, 1750.
 
Location. 36° 36.171′ N, 83° 41.717′ W. Marker is in Middlesboro, Kentucky, in Bell County. Marker is on U.S. 25 East, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 91 US-25 E, Middlesboro KY 40965, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gateway to Kaintuck (within shouting distance of this marker); The Emigrant's Dream (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Community Park to National Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pinnacle of Perfection (approx. ¼ mile away); Lewis and Clark in Kentucky Cumberland Gap (approx. half a mile away); Middlesboro Meteorite Crater Impact Site (approx. 0.7 miles away); Wilderness Road (approx. 0.8 miles away); Warriors' Path (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Middlesboro.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 16, 2022. It was originally submitted on November 16, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 107 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 16, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 12, 2024