"Year of the Three Sevens"
THE kidnapping was the most spectacular, but not the only, evidence that Kentucky's Indian troubles had fairly begun. It was not long before several hunters failed to return. The cabin of David and Nathaniel Hart was burned, and five hundred apple-tree scions, which had been carried through the forests from Virginia, were ruined by raiding Cherokees. Two men were killed near Licking River.
Worse still, ammunition was beginning to run low. The Transylvania Company had previously supplied it, but the Company's days were obviously numbered, and the new state government of Virginia had little ammunition to spare. The Chiswell lead mines in Virginia were working furiously, but Washington's army used up most of the powder and shot that could be produced.
Even before the girls were kidnapped, George Rogers Clark and John Gabriel Jones set off from Harrodsburg to Virginia, determined to persuade the state government to supply powder and lead for defense and do something about the land-title question. They had a desperate trip, taking turns on the only horse fit to ride, both of them suffering from "scald feet," while every now and then they could hear somewhere in the woods shots which could only come from Indian hunters. Not once did they hear the sound of a white man's rifle which, with its heavier charge, had an easily distinguishable report. They found