Long before the first Euro-American hunters and explorers ventured through the Cumberland Gap and down the Ohio River into what became Kentucky, Native American people lived, hunted, and traveled through the region. The same bountiful natural resources that drew in the early white settlers also made Native Americans fight to keep what was theirs first.
Much of Kentucky's early history has centered on those early settlers and explorers like Daniel Boone, Simon Kenton, John Floyd, and Benjamin Logan, all of whom fought long odds and extreme dangers to make a new life west of the Appalachian Mountains. For too long, however, their opponents have been viewed as secondary, cursory, and antagonistic figures in the frontier drama.
Kentucky Native Americans' understanding of land use/ownership and their distinct cultural differences from that of the encroaching whites ensured that conflict between the two groups would occur. The Native American perspective of defending the land and its resources is one that should be taken into greater consideration when learning about our state's frontier history and trying to comprehend its sometimes tragic events.
We hope this app tour will provide a better understanding of not only the people, places, and events that unfolded due to misunderstandings and cultural domination, but we also hope it provides insight into the diverse and vibrant culture that Native American people have expressed in Kentucky for centuries.