F. Cuming


May 9, 1807    Having passed the Big Miami, the boundary between Ohio and the territory of Indiana in the night, at seven in the morning we were abreast of Big Bone Lick creek, so called from a skeleton of the mammoth being found here.  This is fifty-nine miles below Cincinnati.  The tiresome sameness of the banks continued until noon when being abreast of one Reamy’s, thirty two miles further, the settlements become thicker on the Kentucky side, and the river assumed a more cheerful appearance.  I observed some farms on the opposite shore of Indiana, at one of which I was informed was a vineyard.   [Thirty miles from Big Bone, which he refers to as “Reamy's” is going to be about 5 miles below Ghent, at what some people have called “Craig's Bar.”]  At three P.P. we stopped at Port William, delightfully situated just above the embouchure of Kentucky river, and which is from eighty to a hundred yards wide.  This is the capital of Gallatin county, and contains twenty-one houses, many of which are brick, but all rather in a state of decay.  The lands appear good, but probably the county is not in sufficient state of improvement to admit of a town here yet.   


These are brief excerpts from F. Cuming’s Sketches of a Tour to the Western Country, published in Pittsburgh in 1810, on his trip, from 1807 to 1809. This section is from 1807. You can find the entire work on line at the Library of Congress’ American Memory Website, here.  It’s in the Travel Narratives Collection.