Lincoln and the Bluegrass: Slavery and Civil War in Kentucky

By William H. Townsend | Go to book overview

ONE
Athens of the West

LATE afternoon on an early June day, 1775, in that new, enchanted region called "Kaintuckee"1: A small party of hunters--lean, bronzed, muscular, with rifles in hand and scalping knives dangling from the girdles of their buckskin shirts-- emerged from a dense canebrake that skirted the waters of Elkhorn Creek. Hungry and tired, after a leisurely reconnoiter they pitched camp for the night beside a clear bubbling spring that gushed from a crevice in a huge slab of moss-covered limestone.2

The frugal supper of parched corn and jerked venison over, the woodsmen sat around the blazing logs puffing their battered, old pipes in drowsy conversation. The day's journey had led them through the most picturesque and fertile country in all the western wilderness:3luxuriant vegetation rooted in a loose, deep, black mold; giant trees of red and but oak, yellow poplar, sugar maple, walnut, blue ash, beech, and wild cherry; violets, honeysuckle, and wild roses that perfumed the dim, shaded ravines; columbine, sweet William, and forget-me-nots basking in the placid sunshine; songbirds--the cardinal, bluebird, the

-1-

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Lincoln and the Bluegrass: Slavery and Civil War in Kentucky
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xiii
  • One - Athens of the West 1
  • Two - The Lincolns of Fayette 16
  • Three - The Early Todds 25
  • Four - The Little Trader from Hickman Creek 30
  • Five - Mary Ann Todd 46
  • Six - Slavery in the Bluegrass 70
  • Seven - Grist to the Mill 81
  • Eight - The True American 99
  • Nine - The Lincolns Visit Lexington 120
  • Ten - Widow Sprigg and Buena Vista 141
  • Eleven - A House Divided 157
  • Twelve - Milly and Alfred 176
  • Thirteen - The Buried Years 192
  • Fourteen - Storm Clouds 209
  • Fifteen - Rebellion 239
  • Sixteen - Stirring Days in Kentucky 269
  • Seventeen Problems of State and In-Law Trouble 299
  • Eighteen - With Malice Toward None 320
  • Nineteen - Lilac Time 352
  • Bibliographical Notes 359
  • Index 387
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