History of Kentucky

abAbduction of Daniel Boone's daughter by Cherokee and Shawnee Indians Kentucky 776

Abduction of Daniel Boone's daughter, Jemima, by
Cherokee and Shawnee Indians Kentucky 1776

This illustrated article provides interesting facts, information and a history timeline of the Native American Indians of Kentucky.

The climate, land, history, environment and natural resources that were available to the indigenous Indian tribes in Kentucky resulted in the adoption of the Southeast culture.

Discover the history, interesting facts and information about the way of life of the Kentucky Indians before the arrival of the white European settlers and colonists.

History of Native Americans
Native Indian Tribes Index

History of Kentucky Indians
Factors that contributed to the history of the state are detailed in the History Timeline. The history timeline shows the impact of the new comers to the state.

Stone Age History of Kentucky
The American Native Indians who lived in what is now the present state of Kentucky led a Stone Age lifestyle - they only had stone tools and weapons, had never seen a horse and had no knowledge of the wheel. The history of the Kentucky Indians are detailed in this article.

Map of Kentucky
The map of Kentucky provides a bird's eye view of the location of the tribal territories and homelands of the Kentucky Indians in relation to the present day United States of America. The map indicates the location of the State and the American Native Indians of Kentucky.


State Map of Kentucky

State Map showing location of Kentucky Indians

State Map showing location of Kentucky Indians


Names of the Kentucky Indian Tribes
Until the arrival of the first white settlers Shawnee tribes from north and the Cherokee and Chickasaw tribes from the south of the Cumberland river fought for control of the region. During this time, no one Indian nation held possession of the region that would eventually become Kentucky. There are many famous Native American tribes who played a part in the history of the state and whose tribal territories and homelands are located in the present day state of Kentucky. The names of the Kentucky tribes included the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Mosopelea, Shawnee and Yuchi.

Fast Facts about the History of Kentucky Indians
The way of life and history of Kentucky Indians was dictated by the natural raw materials available in the State of Kentucky. The natural resources and materials available provided the food, clothing and houses of the Kentucky Indians. Fast facts about the history, culture and life of the State of Kentucky Indians. Discover facts and information about the history of the State of Kentucky Indians.

  • Name of State: Kentucky
  • Meaning of State name: Believed to be derived from the word “Kenta,” meaning “Field” or “Meadow.”
  • Geography, Environment and Characteristics of the State of Kentucky: Mountains in the east; rounded hills in the north; Bluegrass, wooded rocky hillsides
  • Culture adopted by Kentucky Indians: Southeast Cultural Group
  • Languages: Muskogean
  • Way of Life (Lifestyle): Hunter gatherers and hunter farmers
  • Types of housing, homes or shelters: Asi Wattle and Daub houses

History Timeline of the Kentucky Indians
The history and the way of life of Kentucky Indians was profoundly affected by newcomers to the area. The indigenous people had occupied the land thousands of years before the first European explorers arrived. The Europeans brought with them new ideas, customs, religions, weapons, transport (the horse and the wheel), livestock (cattle and sheep) and disease which profoundly affected the history of the Native Indians. For a comprehensive History timeline regarding the early settlers and colonists refer to the
Colonial America Time Period. The history of the State and of its Native American Indians is detailed in a simple History Timeline. This Kentucky Indian History Timeline provides a list detailing dates of conflicts, wars and battles involving Kentucky Indians and their history. We have also detailed major events in US history which impacted the history of the Kentucky Indians. Conflicts erupt durng the 1800's between settlers and Native Indians including the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Mosopelea, Shawnee and Yuchi tribes. The Native Indians are gradually forced to cede their lands.

Kentucky History Timeline

History Timeline of the Native Indians of Kentucky

10,000 BC: Paleo-Indian Era (Stone Age culture) the earliest human inhabitants of America who lived in caves and were Nomadic hunters of large game including the Great Mammoth and giant bison.

7000 BC: Archaic Period in which people built basic shelters and made stone weapons and stone tools

1000 AD: Woodland Period including the Adena culture (mounds, a burial complex and ceremonial system. The Adena lived in a variety of locations, including: Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, and parts of Pennsylvania and New York.) and Hopewell cultures

1000: Mississippian Culture established. This was the last of the mound-building cultures of North America in Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States

1739: Captain Charles de Longueuil explores Kentucky. The French claimed most of land, established trading posts with help of local Indian tribes 

1750: Thomas Walker explores Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap

1751: Christopher Gist explores the region along the Ohio River

1754: 1754 - 1763: The French Indian War is won by Great Britain against the French so ending the series of conflicts known as the French and Indian Wars

1763: Treaty of Paris

1775: 1775 - 1783 - The American Revolution.

1776: 1776-1794 Chickamauga Wars aka the Second Cherokee War, a series of conflicts of the Cherokee against the encroachment into their territory.

1776: July 4, 1776 - United States Declaration of Independence

1785: Northwest Indian War (1785–1795) in Indiana and Ohio. The Americans suffered 2 humiliating defeats by the American Native Indians until they won the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794

1794: General "Mad Anthony" Wayne's victory at Fallen Timbers in Ohio ends Indian attacks in Kentucky

1803: The United States bought the Louisiana Territory from France for 15 million dollars for the land

1812: 1812 - 1815: The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain, ended in a stalemate but confirmed America's Independence

1830: Indian Removal Act

1832: Department of Indian Affairs established

1861: 1861 - 1865: The American Civil War.

1862: U.S. Congress passes Homestead Act opening the Great Plains to settlers

1865: The surrender of Robert E. Lee on April 9 1865 signalled the end of the Confederacy

1887: Dawes General Allotment Act passed by Congress leads to the break up of the large Indian Reservations and the sale of Indian lands to white settlers

1969: All Indians declared citizens of U.S.

1979: American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed

History Timeline of the Native Indians of Kentucky

State of Kentucky History Timeline

Yuchi Indian

History of Kentucky Indians - Destruction and Decline
The history of the European invasion brought epidemic diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, influenza, measles and smallpox. The Native Indians of Kentucky had not developed immunities against these diseases resulting in huge losses in population. Exploitation including the leverage of taxes, enforced labor and enslavement were part of their history, taking their toll on the Kentucky Indians.


  • History of Kentucky Indians
  • Interesting Facts and information about the Kentucky Culture and History
  • Names of indigenous Kentucky tribes of Indians
  • Fast Facts, History Timeline and info
  • Map of Kentucky
  • History Timeline of the Kentucky Indians

State of Kentucky Indians - Additional Pictures and Videos
State of Kentucky Indian History. Discover the vast selection of pictures and videos of Native Americans. The pictures show the clothing, weapons and decorations of various Native American tribes that can be used as an educational history resource for kids and children. We hope that this article on the History of Kentucky Indians  will assist in your studies or homework and that you will enjoy watching the videos featuring many pictures of the Native Americans. A great historical educational resource for kids on the subject of the History of Kentucky Indians..


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