• Woodford Sun Staff Report

Clippings from the Blue Grass Clipper

May 30, 1901… The name “Kentucky,” both the country and the river that

now bear the beautiful name “Kentucky,” were so called by the Indians

ages before the coming of their white destroyers. The Indians also

called the river “Chenoca,” a word which still distinguishes a mountain

spur in Bell County, but the name they used by far the most was

Kentucky. In coming into use among the whites early in the 18th

century, the word varied as to form and pronunciation according to the

user’s knowledge of the Indian tongue. John Salling, who was a prisoner

among the Cherokees for some years before 1736, and who must have been

somewhat familiar with their language, gives the name as we now have it

when he say that they took him “to the salt licks of Kentucky.”

Alexander McGinty, who had also been held by the Indians, deposed in

1753 that they captured him “on the south bank of the Cantucky,” and

Col. George Croghan who was for so many years British agent among the

Six Nations and an authority on savage affairs, speaks in his journal of

1765 of “The Kentucky River.” Dr. Thomas Walker (1750) ignores the

Indian name, if he knew it. Christopher Gist (1751) gives it in a

corrupted form as “Cuttaway,” and Lewis Evans (1752) who only caught the

name from traders, put it down on his map as “Cuttawa.” Kentucky seems

never to have been known by any but Indian names until a short time

before 1775 when “Louisa” came into limited use among the whites. The

generally accurate Bradford helped to perpetrate the error that the

Kentucky River was given the English name “Louisa” by Dr. Walker, but

not only does Marshall declare that Walker did not reach the interior of

the county, but later writers assert that it was a tributary of the Big

Sandy, as given on Jefferson’s map, that the explorer of 1750 so named.

It was sometime after Walker’s tour before the name of this tributary

was applied to the country itself and then, fortunately, it quickly

subsided before the original and Indian name, which after many

vicissitudes among the whites as to spelling and pronunciation, came

into prominent use as the Indians themselves pronounced it “Kentucky.”

Authors differ as to the meaning of the name. According to Darlington,

Archives Americana, it is a Mohawk word signifying “among the meadows”

and others give it still different definitions. Probably the earliest

writer to give its meaning as “The Dark and Bloody Ground” was Filson

(1784) who says the country was so denominated by the Indians when

Finley traveled through it in 1757. This statement was adopted by

succeeding historians and came into use, though Filson gave no authority

for it, and there is nothing extant that this writer knows of to sustain

it, certainly nothing from the Indians themselves. There is a popular

impression that this phrase “The Dark and Bloody Ground” was used as the

meaning of the word Kentucky by the Cherokees at the Treaty of Watauga

in 1775, but that is a mistake. On that occasion Dragging Canoe, who was

strongly opposed to the treaty, said in that metaphorical style which

distinguished his race, that there was a “dark cloud” over Kentucky,

meaning by that expression, as he himself explained, the hostility of

the northern tribes to its occupancy by the whites. On the same

occasion, an Indian opposer of the treaty, hoping to arouse the

superstitious fears of the whites, said that the land desired by

Henderson & Co. was a “bloody country,” but in neither case was a

reference made to the meaning of the word Kentucky. Certain writers

assume that it referred to the supposed bloody extermination of the

Mound Builders, but on that theory the phrase would apply with even more

force to Ohio and other states of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. One

has as much authority, apparently, for calling Kentucky “The Meadow

Land” as “The Dark and Bloody Ground.”

Dunvegan, the famous seat of the MacLeods, is said to be the oldest

inhabited private house in Scotland.

Dr. S.H. Halley’s new house at Payne’s Depot is nearing completion and

is making a fine appearance.

Starks & Co., John Wise, and the Citizens Bank are laying concrete

pavements in front of their buildings on Railroad Street.

Capt. James W. Blackburn and Sen. J.C.S. Blackburn are attending the

Confederate reunion in Memphis this week.

June 1, 1922… Versailles High defeated the UK All­Stars 5-4 at Childers

Field Wednesday.

Mr. and Mrs. R. Keene Arnold have their first grandchild, born May 20 in

Tokyo to Rev. and Mrs. B.E. Watson, a girl.

Prof. Mark Godman and wife, nee Angela Morancy, are parents of a

daughter, Marie Morancy Godman, born at their home in Shelbyville.

Louis Marshall of Woodford Bank and Ulysses Turner of Amsden Bank

attended the Bankers Convention in Louisville last week.

Judge Alfred Nuckols, brother of Charles Nuckols of Winter Street, is

seriously ill at his home in Versailles.

A party of young people left today for “Bonnie Doon,”Cogar’s camp on the

Kentucky River. Among them were Misses Kathryn Withrow, Lilly Parrish,

Marjorie Kemm, Dorothy Davis, Mary Lewis Marvin, Annie Slack Nelson,

Jeanette Lehman, Jim Parrish, Colvin Rouse, James Cogar and John

Withrow. They will spend a week.

The historic Lexington Opera House, where for more than a half century

some of America’s most famous stage figures have appeared, was sold at

auction to R.S. Webb Jr., who will use it for business purposes. The

last stage performance was given Thanksgiving Day 1921, the closing

following an order from adjoining property owners.

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All