IN 1810, Kentuckians were becoming increasingly angry at the British for strengthening their frontier posts and inciting the Indians in the northwest against the Americans. The citizens elected war hawks Henry Clay and Richard M. Johnson to congress, and prepared to fight to defend their state. Service in the militia became a very serious matter as the possibility of armed conflict became more certain. Unfortunately, the state militia was poorly organized and armed. During the previous Winter Governor Scott had warned the legislators that half of the militia companies in Kentucky had not turned in their muster rolls to headquarters and that, of the half that were accounted for, not one-fifth were armed or prepared for service. During this time Lilburne became a captain, and was given command of a company of his neighbors.1
In Livingston there was no love lost toward the Indians, especially the nearby Chickasaws, who had been so hostile in recent years that the militia had been called out to guard the county borders. Across the Ohio River in the Northwest Territory, settlers were being murdered, and there were bitter memories of past killings in Livingston County. In 1793, Moses Shelby, the brother of Governor Isaac Shelby, was hunting in southwest Kentucky on Little Creek with his brother, Evan, and two other companions. Evan and the two friends were ambushed and killed by Indians, but Moses was able to escape unhurt.2 Reacting to such incidents, and aggravated further by greed for the land occupied by the Chickasaws, many of the settlers regarded the Indians as little better than animals, and treated them accordingly.
An extreme example of this attitude occurred in an encounter that took place in Eddyville in 1803. At that time James Ivy had not yet moved his tavern to Centerville, but was running a comparable dramshop in Matthew Lyon's new town on the Cumberland River. One night in early March, shortly before ten o'clock, a group of about twenty men were drinking in Ivy's barroom. Among the crowd were three Chickasaw Indians, one of whom,