Recorded historical past has a wealth of pages teeming with the lifetime of the male pioneer, his exploring, his claiming of land grants, the issue of journey to the brand new land, and the multitude of duties concerned in establishing a house and elevating crops. These backbreaking duties required a imaginative and prescient, dedication, iron grit, a dedication and a small diploma of foolhardiness. He’s the forerunner of the early cities and counties and a hero to many.
When settling onto the brand new land, the brand new landowner was typically accompanied by his spouse and household. They, too, suffered the hardships of journey and aided within the duties of securing housing and making ready the land for elevating meals. Typically the feminine labored alone whereas the male relative hunted for animals. The hardships of early settlement have been skilled by all members of the early pioneer household, however the girl skilled a novel adjustment to her ordinary standing. Within the wilderness she skilled few social constraints which she felt in society again residence. She needed to carve out a brand new place within the household and a wider societal construction with different settlers. It was actually a brand new land of alternative for the girl of the household.
Earlier than the realm we name Bowling Inexperienced was even settled, there are tales written about different settlers in Kentucky the place the feminine member of the household was highlighted. Mary Draper Ingles is an instance. Whereas her husband, William Ingles, and different males have been harvesting crops, she was attacked and captured by Shawnee Indians. Her two sons, Thomas and George, and her sister-in-law have been additionally taken on a month’s journey to the Indian village. In September 1755, over two months after seize, they managed to flee and, with the assistance of different settlers, she was reunited together with her husband and to her unique residence in Virginia. Her son, Robert, handed away a number of days after his seize. Thomas was returned to his household in 1768.
The story of Virginia (Jenny) Sellards Wiley may be very related. Whereas her husband was away, she was captured by Indians, who killed her brother and her three youngsters. Her story, like Mrs. Ingles, might be discovered within the native historic group publication, the Longhunter Vol. XX and within the Kentucky Museum. The trendy music “I Am Girl” could be an apt description of the pioneer feminine. “I’m girl, I’m invincible.”
Nearer to the time of the start of our metropolis is one other little bit of recorded historical past relating the expertise of a Kentucky spouse, additionally recorded within the Longhunter Vol. XX. It’s a letter of an early settler to her mom again in Virginia.
Gasper River, Kentucky
March 2, 1794
King Fraser got here to our cabin yesterday and stayed all night time with us. He introduced us beet and onion seed and gave me a needle and a few flax seed.
We got here right here as a result of Tolliver employed Sam to dwell on the Ball and maintain it. One among our horses died at Cumberland Hole and Sam bought the opposite one to a person for some meals and ammunition and we made a ship and got here right down to the river to the fort and from there walked right here and put up a log cabin. We rowed down the river by night time and laid by within the day and we walked three or 4 nights fairly close to all night time.
We hear Mr. Tolliver goes to ship some extra individuals out right here and I want he would as it’s lonesome when Sam is gone.
We’ve got about two or three acres cleared and planted in corn and pum[p]kins and we’ve sufficient venison dried to final for a 12 months. My yellow linsey gown is sort of worn out however the cottonade is just not. Sam made me a buckskin apron.
There are people about twelve miles from us on the Large Barren River and a Mr. McFadden who was looking stray horses stayed all night time with us a couple of month in the past. He begged us to come back up the place he lived and stated it was not secure for us right here. However we didn’t really feel afraid if it was not so lonesome. King stated he was going to fulfill some surveyors and hunt for some army land.
Generally I cry about dropping Bounce however Sam says that he is aware of the Ingin that caught a tomahawk into Bounce gained’t ever kill one other canine for he put a bullet into his cover.
They (the Indians) have been right here about one entire day whooping and hollering about – however they have been nice cowards. Sam says Tolliver will come out right here subsequent 12 months and if he does we are going to return on a go to.
Inform ever[y]physique howdy and should you see anybody coming right here write to me and ship me some issues. I can get them at McFadden’s.
Your affectionate daughter
Within the early years, life for the feminine girl was, as anticipated, difficult. Giving start in crude settings, caring for kids, tending the backyard, chopping wooden, tending the fires, carrying the water from the creek, harvesting the crops, mending and cleansing the garments and quite a few different home duties. As time handed, routine established, and progress made, the expansion of social contacts grew to become extra prevalent by means of church and neighborhood celebrations and neighborhood occasions. Societal requirements emerged throughout the space and as soon as once more life was pleasurable because it had been in Virginia or North Carolina or from wherever their residence base.
Actually, progress was made within the high quality of the pioneer girl however her function within the household was nonetheless difficult. When the Honorable Joseph Underwood was absent from his property serving within the U.S. Senate, Mrs. Elizabeth Underwood had main duties to carry out each day: “Supervised the provisioning of the larder with sufficient meals to final the winter and sufficient wooden to stroke the fireplaces, rendered lard, made candles, oversaw the operation of the massive Underwood farm… entertained droves of associates, kinfolk, and their servants who got here and infrequently stayed far too lengthy, outfitted and made preparations for a household of slaves who immigrated to Liberia, collected her husband’s authorized charges, supervised the household funds, deliberate a advantageous new residence, saved up with present occasions, and suggested her husband on the way to vote in Congress” (Longhunter Vol. XXIX.)
Time has produced an outdated saying, “A girl’s work is rarely completed.” True or not, the thought portrays the significance of the feminine in our tradition. Really, womanhood is the center of life… however then once more, this author could also be prejudiced.
-by Mary Alice Oliver
In regards to the Writer: Mary Alice Oliver is a Bowling Inexperienced native who’s a 1950 graduate of Bowling Inexperienced Excessive College. She retired from Warren County Colleges after 40 years in schooling. Visiting acquainted websites, researching historic information and sharing recollections with associates are her passions.