Kentucky Facts and History

Abbreviated as KY on, Kentucky is one of the central states of southeastern North American Confederation, 350 in area (105.145 sq. Km., Roughly the same as mainland Italy). Towards the north it is delimited by the lower course of the Ohio, which here flows into the Mississippi: at both ends the rivers that descend from the internal slope of the Allegani and from the Cumberland Plateau, a flap of which forms the northeastern end of the state. To the west, along the two major rivers, a cloister of small rounded hills rises; between these and the raised edge facing the Allegani is the calcareous plain called, from its vegetal mantle, in which the compressed Poa and the Poa nemorosa predominate,, where the surface soil is made up of a thick layer of red earth (decomposition clays), ideally suited to all kinds of crops. The SE corner. of Kentucky falls within the coastal plain area; where limestone predominates, karst phenomena are frequent, known for their grandiose proportions (Mammouth Cave, and Colossal Cavern), and for the superficial disappearance of various watercourses.

The climate is temperate continental, with relatively short and mild winters, hot summers, but not excessive; sufficient rainfall for the needs of crops, although with frequent thunderstorms and tornados (Louisville: average annual temperature 13 °, 8; Jan 1, 3; July 25 °, 9; annual rainfall 1150 mm.).


The first white man to enter Kentucky was the French explorer La Salle, who sailing south on the Ohio River arrived in 1669 at the falls opposite Louisville. A few years later, in 1692, Arnout Viele of New York established relations between the Albany merchants and the Shawnee Indians of Kentucky. The French confirmed their right to the Ohio Valley by sending soldiers from Canada to suppress hostile attacks by the Chickasaws Indians.

The Virginia government, meanwhile, granted territorial rights beyond the Appalachian Mountains to companies and individuals. Thus the English began to arrive in the SE part. of Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap in 1750. The Ohio Company, organized to exploit the Ohio Valley, alarmed by rumors of the French occupation, persuaded the Governor of Virginia, in 1752, to send George Washington there, with a message to French commander. The reply received was the cause of the war against the French.

In 1774 the first permanent colony was founded in Kentucky by James Harrod and forty companions, some of them Catholics, from the Monongahela region. They settled where Mercer County is today, and the place was called Harrodsburg. Soon after, other colonies were founded which together were part of the county. The colonists sent representatives to the Virginia legislature.

Virginia’s land distribution policy encouraged immigration to the region, but the settlers found themselves in a constant and bitter struggle with Indians who claimed land rights. Finally in 1774 the Northwest Indians were defeated at Point Pleasant by a Virginia army, and were forced to retreat across the Ohio River. The same year the Boone concluded a treaty with the Cherokees and Waraga Indians whereby they sold their rights to the territory between the Ohio and Cumberland rivers, and to the west and south of the Kentucky River – territory with an area of ​​nearly half of the present state of Kentucky.

During the revolution the region was neglected, and the Kentucky outposts had to defend themselves against frequent attacks by the Indians. Because of this isolation, in May 1775, the first efforts were made to form a state government independent of Virginia. Virginia, although it refused complete separation, allowed the formation of Kentucky County, thus separating the new territory from Fincastle County. Harrodsburg was the county seat of the new Kentucky county, which had its own representatives in the Virginia legislature. An agreement was finally reached in July 1790, and on February 1 of the following year, Congress admitted Kentucky to the United States beginning July 1, 1792.

Meanwhile, immigration had received a new impetus. In April 1792 the first state constitution was adopted. Lexington was its capital for the first six months, but later the capital was moved to Frankfort. At the beginning of the war of 1812, Kentucky participated with great enthusiasm. Banking speculation and the slavery issue threatened to divide the state. At the beginning of the civil war, Kentucky refused to take part in it. Governor Magoffin sent the federal government and the Confederation a protest against the occupation of any part of the state, and sought to have his state appointed as a mediator between the north and the south. His footsteps were rejected. Kentucky officially remained loyal to the Confederacy, but its men enlisted in the Army of the Union part in the Confederation army. During the prosperous years preceding and following the European war, there was a rapid increase in coal mining in the south-east of the state. But due to the crisis of the 1930s, many industries were forced to reduce work.

Although Kentucky voted for Republican candidates in the national elections of 1924 and 1928, in 1932 the state gave its votes to Democrat Roosevelt.

Kentucky Facts and History


According to, Frankfort is a city of the USA (27,077 in 2006), capital of Kentucky. Founded in 1786 on the Kentucky River, it became the state capital in 1792. Food industry, textiles, cement and footwear.

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