Cumberland Gap, the break in the ridgeline you see ahead, is far more than just a pass through a long, rugged mountain barrier. For a generation of American pioneers this was the gateway from their old lives and limitations out to a frontier wilderness, full of promise, and the chance to start a better life.
What a buzzel is amongst people about Kentucke? To hear people speak of it one would think that it was a new found Paradise!
Reverend John Brown, 1775
Ask these Pilgrims what they expect when they git to Kentucke. The Answer is Land. Have you any? No, but I expect I can git it. Have you anything to pay for land? No. Did you Ever see the Country? No, but Every Body says it is good land...
Moses Austin, 1796