Kentucky Boats

One General Harmar, who was the man charged with building the first fort in Cincinnati (then called Losantiville), wrote to his commanding officer in 1790 that the new fort - Fort Washington - would cost Cincinnati citizens “but little.”

How were they going to build it cheaply?  Because “About forty or fifty Kentucky boats have begun and will complete it.  Limestone [Maysville] is the grand mart of Kentucky; whenever boats arrive there they are scarcely of any value to the owners; they are frequently set adrift in order to make room for the arrival of others.  I have contracted for the above number for the moderate price of from one to two dollars each; thus much for the plank work.”

(A Kentucky Boat looked like a floating box with a small cabin on part of the deck.  They were 40 feet long, more or less, and drew about 3o inches of water.  There's a picture of one on the prior page.)