Voice of the Frontier
From 1826 to 1829, John Bradford, founder of Kentucky's first newspaper, the Kentucky Gazette, reprinted in its pages sixty-six excerpts that he considered important documents on the settlement of the West. Now for the first time all of Bradford'sNotes on Kentucky―the primary historical source for Kentucky's early years―are made available in a single volume, edited by the state's most distinguished historian.
The Kentucky Gazette was established in 1787 to support Kentucky's separation from Virginia and the formation of a new state. Bradford's Notes deal at length with that protracted debate and the other major issues confronting Bradford and his pioneering neighbors. The early white settlers were obsessed with Indian raids, which continued for more than a decade and caused profound anxiety. A second vexing concern was overlapping land claims, as swarms of settlers flowed into the region. And as quickly as the land was settled, newly opened fields began to yield mountains of produce in need of outside markets. Spanish control of the lower Mississippi and rumors of Spain's plan to close the river for twenty-five years were far more threatening to the new economy than the continuing Indian raids.