STRIKING ROOTS IN KENTUCKY
The American frontier was not founded upon any antecedent theory of imperial or domestic growth, but emerged with a form largely dictated by the status of its land, the life that the early settlers could not avoid living upon that land, and an inheritance of ideas that the residents possessed.--F. L. PAXSON.
DURING the lifetime of John Blair the frontier expanded across and beyond the Appalachians. Two years after he organized Presbyterian congregations in Rockbridge and Augusta counties, Virginia, Christopher Gist went out to the Forks of the Ohio to survey a two hundred thousand acre land grant for the Ohio Land Company. George Washington's brother, Lawrence, was interested in lands to the west of the mountains as a speculative measure, and he with others chose Gist to go as an advance agent of the company. The stockade which Gist built at Will's Creek was named Fort Cumberland, and along the blazed trail, which Gist made for his company, came in a few years the Virginia speculators and Braddock's troops. The march of Braddock was a gain for the colonists. Ever on the watch for new and desirable farmsteads, the colonial troops made use of Braddock's road across the mountains to open the way to the valley of the Ohio.1 Immigrants were advancing to the Forks of the Ohio before the Revolutionary War was begun at Lexington and Concord, and the hostile Indians on the right bank of the river deflected them into the region of Kentucky.2 There they began another frontier life in which James Blair and his runs were to perform important parts.
Another steam of immigrants had gone up the Shenandoah and down the parallel valleys of the Appalachians seeking homes behind the lowland counties of Virginia and the Carolinas. The____________________