July 1784, Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
With the passing of the Ordinance of 1784 for the Confederation Congress of the recently formed United States, a proposal authored primarily by Thomas Jefferson, it was decided that the lands taken by conquest from the Native Americans north of the Ohio River, East of the Mississippi River, and West of the Allegheny Mountains would be divided into seven separate states, all which would belong to the United States. They were to be states which wouldn’t allow slavery, but this was under hot debate in the Congress. However, while the Confederation Congress sat dividing up the land belonging to the Native tribes, the tribes themselves were not about to give them up. Ever since they learned that by the Treaty of Paris their lands were being claimed by the Long Knives (Americans), and despite the warnings from the United States AND the British in Detroit, bands of renegade Shawnee, Delaware (Lenni Lenapi), and Miami, along with others, continued raids on the Ohio River and into Kentucky country.
“I can’t be just sittin’ here by this creek, a lookin’ out for them theivin’ Shawnee to come and steal my horse and burn my house. I got crops need tending and animals need be fed. But just last month a war party of them Shawnee come right near here to Limestone and attacked the blockhouse belonging to Simon Kenton. They are coming into our country and burning cabins, stealing our livestock, and taking scalps. People trying to come to settle in Kentucky are being attacked right on the Ohio River. We find their bodies a’floatin’, their flatboats running ashore with all the property taken, and the children a not to be found. Knowin’ them children are sittin’ with their faces painted and wearin’ moccasins. I scared for my own youngin’s and my wife. I don’t want to see her golden hair hangin’ from a scalp pole in some God-forsaken village up north. God help us all. A good thing is that Daniel Boone has left his settlement in Boonesboro and come here to Lexington in Fayette County to be the Sheriff. I figure Boone knows best how to deal with these here Shawnee warriors. I’m hoping he puts together a group of volunteers and wants to ride into Shawnee country and give’m a good beatin.’ Congress needs to be sendin’ an army and just wipe out them savages. Them lands ain’t theirs no more. Period. They belong to us and we should just go take’em. We can’t just sit here like this day after day waiting for them to come and kill us. I though that the end of the war was the end of this kind of life. It can”t go on like this. No sir, it just can’t. Them Indians gotta be stopped once and fer all. ”
Jacob Palmer, Kentucky settler/farmer