Going to Kentucky, William Calks Journal, 1775



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Original Source:Written by William Calk, of Virginia, who started from Prince William 
county in that state on March 13, 1775, and reached 
Boone's fort on April 20th.
Intermeidate Source:Source:Dunbar, 1915:142-146. Calk's original diary is still in possession of his Kentucky descendants. It 
was incorporated 
by Thomas Speed in his monograph on the Wilderness Road, published by the 
Filson Club, from which the extracts here quoted are taken.


1775, Mon. I3th — I set out from prince wm. to travel to Caintuck on tuesday Night our company all got together at Mr. Priges on Rapadon which was Abraham Hanks, Philip Drake, Eanock Smith, Robert Whitledge and my Self. Thear Abrams Dog’s leg got broke by Drakes Dog.

Wednesday, 15th,—We started early from priges made a good Days 
travel and lodge this night at Mr. Cars on North fork James River.

Thursday, 16th—We started early it rained Chief part of the day. Snowed in the Eavening very hard and was very Coald. We traveled all day and got to Mr. Blocks at the foot of the Blue Ridge.

Friday 17th—We started early cross the Ridge the wind Blowsz 
very hard and cold and lodge at James lovls.

Monday 20th — We start early cross the ferry and lodge this night 
at Wm. Adamses on the head of Catauby. 
Wedns 22nd —We start early and git to foart Chissel whear we 
git some good loaf Bread and good whiskey.

fryday 24th—we start early and turn out of the wagon Road to go 
across the mountains to go by Danil Smiths we loose Driver Come to a 
turable mountain that tired us all almost to death to git over it and 
we lodge this night on the Lawrel fork of holston under a granite 
mountain and Roast a fine fat turkey for our suppers and Eat it without 
aney Bread. 

Satrd 25th —We start early over Some more very Bad mountain«; 
one that is called Clinch mountain and we git this night to Danil 
Smiths on Clinch and there we staid till thursday morning on tuesday 
night and Wednesday morning it snowed Very hard and was very Coald 
and we hunted a good deal there while we staid in Rough mountains and 
kild three deer and one turkey Eanock Abram and I got lost tuesday 
night and it a snowing and Should a lain in the mountains had not I a 
had a pocket compas by which I got in a littel in the night and fired 
guns and they heard them and caim in By the Repoart. 

Thursday 30th — We set out again and went down to Elk gardin and 
there suplid our Selves With Seed Corn and irish tators then we went 
on a littel way I turned my hors to drive before me and he got scard 
ran away threw Down the Saddel Bags and broke three of our powder 
goards and Abrams beast Burst open a vvalet of corn and lost a good 
Deal and made a turrabel flustration amongst the Reast of the Horses 
Drakes mair run against a sapling and noct it down we cacht them all 
again and went on and lodged at John Duncans. 

fryd 31st — We suplyed our Selves at Dunkans with a 103 pounds 
of Bacon and went on again to Brileys mill and suployed our Selves with 
meal' and lodged this night on Clinch By a large cainbraike and cuckt 
our Supper.

April Saturday 1st—This morning there is ice at our camp half inch 
thick we start early and travel this Day along a verey Bad hilley way 
cross one creek whear the horses almost got mired some fell in and all wet their loads we cross Clinch River and travell till late in the Night and 
camp on Cove Creek having two men with us that wair pilâtes.1 
mond jrd — We start early travel Down the valey cross powels 
river go some through the woods without aney track- cross some Bad 
hills git in to hendersons Road camp on a creek in powell valey.

Tuesday 4th — Raney we Start about 10 oclock and git down to 
Capt. Martins in the valey where we over take Col. Henderson and his 
Company Bound for Caintuck and there we camp this Night there. They 
were Broiling and Eating Beef without Bread.

Wednesday 5th — Breaks away fair and we go down the valey and 
camp on indian Creek we had this creek to cross maney times and very 
bad banks Abrams saddel turned and the load all fell in we got out this 
Eavening and kill two Deer.

thursd 6th — this morning is a hard frost and we wait at Camp for 
Col. Henderson and company to come up they come up about 12 oclock 
atid we goin with them and camp there still this night waiting for some 
part of the company that had their horses ran away with their packs.

fryday 7th — this morning is a very bad snowey morning we still 
continue at Camp being in number about 40 men and some neagros this 
Eaven. Comes a letter from Capt. Boone at Caintuck of the indians doing mischief and some turns back.

Saturday 8th — We all pack up and started crost Cumberland gap 
about one oclock this Day Met a good many peopel turned back for 
fear of the indians but our Company goes on Still with good courage we 
came to a very ugly Creek with steep Banks and have to cross it several 
times on this Creek we camp this night. 
tuesday. nth — this is a very loury morning and like for Rain but 
we all agree to start Early and we cross Cumberland River and travel 
Down it about io miles through some turrabel cainbrakes as we went 
down Abrams mair Ran into the River with her load and swam over 
he followed her and got on her and made her swim hack agin it is a 
very raney Eavening we take up camp near Richland Creek they kill a 
beef Mr. Drake Bakes Bread without washing his hands we Keep 
Sentry this Night for fear of the indians. 

Wednesday I2th —this is a Raney morning But we pack up and go 
on we come to Richland Creek it is high we tote our packs over on a 
tree and swim our horses over and there we meet another Companey 
going Back" they tell such News Abram and Drake is afraid to go aney 
farther there we camp this night. 

thursday I3th — this morning the weather seems to brake and Belair, Abram and Drake turn Back1. We go on and git to loral River. We come to a creek Before wlieare we are able to unload and to take our 
packs over on a log. This day we meet about 20 more turning Back we 
are obliged to toat our packs over loral river and swim our horses. One hors 
ran in with his pack and lost it in the river and they got it agin.

Sunday lüth — cloudy and warm we start early and go on about 2 
miles down the river and then turn up a creek that we crost about 50 
times some very bad foards with a great Deal of very good land on it 
in the Eavening we git over to the waters of Caintuck and go a little 
down the creek and there we camp keep sentel the fore part of the 
night it Rains very har all night. 

tuesday i8th — fair and cool and we go on about io oclock we meet 
4 men from Boones camp that caini to conduck us on we camp this night 
just on the Beginning of the good land near the Blue lick they kill 2 
bofelos this Eavening. 

thursday 2Oth — this morning is clear and cool. We start early and 
git Down to caintuck to Boons foart about 12 o'clock where we stop 
they come out to meet us and welcome us in with a voley of guns. 

fryday 2ist — warm this Day they begin laying off lots in the town 
preparing for people to go to work to make corn. 

Sunday 2jrd — this morning the peopel meets and draws for chois 
of lots this is a very warm day. 

monday 24th — We all view our lots and some Dont like them 
about 12 oclock the combses come to town and Next morning they make 
them a bark canew and set off down the river to meet their Companey. 

Wednesday 26th — We Begin Building us a house and a plaise of 
Defense to Keep the Indians off this day we begin to live without bread. 

Satterday 29th — We git our house kivered with Bark and move 
our things into it at Night and Begin housekeeping Eanock Smith, Robert 
Whitledge and myself.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX P15 in a letter written by Deputy Governor Hinckley 
of Plymouth Colony, about 1680, in which he appeals to 
the English officials in London for certain favors, he 
argues that the colony is entitled to what he asks because 
it was "the first that broke the ice, and underwent ye 
brunt, at our own charge, for the enlargement of his 
Majesties' dominions in this heretofore most howling 
wilderness, amidst wild men and wild beasts."