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**** Kentucky's Name *****
Kentucky comes from a native word but no
one is precisely sure which one. It may come from a Cherokee word
"Kentahteh" meaning "land of tomorrow" or "meadow land". One legend
states that the word means "dark and bloody ground".
**** Kentucky History ****
Kentucky was used as sacred hunting
grounds by roving bands of Shawnee and others. As early as 1750
there were no known permanent Native settlements. After 1770,
settlers from Virginia and North Carolina came through the
Cumberland Gap, and Kentucky grew rapidly as the first settlements
west of the Appalachian Mountains were founded.
After the American Revolution, the
counties of Virginia beyond the Appalachian Mountains became known
as Kentucky County. Eventually, the residents of Kentucky County
petitioned for a separation from Virginia. Ten constitutional
conventions were held in the Constitution Square Courthouse in
Danville between 1784 and 1792. In 1790, Kentucky's delegates
accepted Virginia's terms of separation, and a state constitution
was drafted at the final convention in April 1792. On June 1, 1792, Kentucky became the fifteenth state
to be admitted to the union and Isaac Shelby, a military
veteran from Virginia, was elected the first Governor of the
Commonwealth Of Kentucky.
While remaining loyal to the Union,
Kentucky was a border state during the American Civil War. The state
did not secede, and was officially neutral until a new legislature
took office on August 5, 1861 with strong Union sympathies. The
Confederates entered the state during the "Kentucky Campaign" of
Generals Braxton Bragg and Edmund Kirby Smith in 1862. Bragg's
retreat following the Battle of Perryville left the state under the
control of the Union Army for the remainder of the war. The state
then abandoned neutrality, and publicly sided with the Union.
Southern sympathizers attempted to establish an alternative state
government with the goal of secession but failed to displace the
legitimate government in Frankfort.