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I. COUNTRY AND TOWN.
selves into the final understanding that it be
wholly claimed by none. Bounty in land was ENTUCKY is a land of rural the coveted reward of Virginia troops in the
homes. The people are out in old French and Indian war. Hereditary love the country with a perennial ap- of land was the magnet that drew the earliest petite and passion for the soil. settlers across the perilous mountains. RapaLike Englishmen, they are by city for land was the impulse that caused them
nature no dwellers in cities; like to rush down into the green plains, fall upon older Saxon forefathers, they have a strong feel- the natives, slay, torture, hack to pieces, and ing for a habitation even no better than a one- sacrifice wife and child, with the swift, barbaric story log house, with furniture of the rudest hardihood and unappeasable fury of Northmen kind, and cooking in the open air, if only it be of old descending upon the softer shores of surrounded by a plot of ground and individ- France. Acquisition of land was the determiualized by all-encompassing fences. They are native principle of the new civilization. Litigagregarious at respectful distances, dear to them tion concerning land has made famous the being that sense of personal worth and impor- decisions of their courts of law. The surveyor's tance which comes from territorial aloofness, chain should be wrapped about the rifle as a from domestic privacy, and from a certain lord- symbolic epitome of pioneer history. It was for ship over all they survey.
land that they turned from the Indians upon one The land that Kentuckians hold has a singu- another, and wrangled, cheated, and lied. They lar charm and power of infusing some fierce and robbed Boone until he had none in which to tender desire of ownership. Centuries before it lay his bones. One of the first acts of one of was possessed by them, all ruthless aboriginal the first colonists was to glut his appetite by the wars for its sole occupancy had resolved them- purchase of all of the State that lies south of the Kentucky River. The middle class of farmer has the features of urban life. The hundreds of always been a strong, a controlling element of little towns and villages scattered at easy disthe population. To-day more are engaged in tances over the State for the most part draw agriculture than in all other pursuits combined; out a thin existence by reason of surrounding taste for it has steadily drawn a rich stream of rural populations. They bear the pastoral younger generations hither and thither into the stamp. Up to their very environs approach younger West; and to-day, as always, the broad, the cultivated fields, the meadows of brilliant average ideal of a happy life is expressed in green, the delicate woodlands; in and out the quiet ownership of perpetual pastures. along the white highways move the tranquil
Steam, said Emerson, is almost an English- currents of rural trade; through their streets man: grass is almost a Kentuckian. Wealth, groan and creak the loaded wagons; on the labor, productions, revenues, public markets, sidewalks the most conspicuous human type public improvements, manners, characters, so- is the farmer. Once a month county-seats cial modes — all speak in common of the coun- overflow with the incoming tide of country try and fix attention upon the soil. The staples folk, livery-stables are crowded with horses attest the predominance of agriculture; unsur- and vehicles, court-house squares become marpassed breeds of stock imply the verdure of the ket-places for traffic in stock. But when emp
lawns; turnpikes, the finest on the continent, tied of country folk, they sink again into repose, furnish viaducts for the garnered riches of the all but falling asleep of summer noonings, and earth, and prove as well the high development in winter seeming frost-locked with the outlyof rural life as the every-day luxury of delight- ing woods and streams. ful riding and driving. Even the crow, the Remarkable is the absence of considerable most boldly characteristic freebooter of the air, cities; there being but one that may be said whose cawing is often the only sound heard in truly to reflect Kentucky life, and that situated dead February days, or whose flight amid his on the river frontier, a hundred miles from the multitudinous fellows forms long black lines center of the State. Think of it! A population across the morning and the evening sky, tells of some two millions with only one interior town of fat pickings and profitable thefts in innu- that contains over five thousand white inhabimerable fields. In Kentucky a rustic young tants. Hence Kentucky makes no impression woman of Homeric sensibility will rightly be abroad by reason of its urban population. Lexallowed to discover in the slow-moving pano- ington, Bowling Green, Harrodsburg, Winchesrama of white clouds her father's herd of short-ter, Richmond, Frankfort, Mount Sterling, and horned cattle grazing through heavenly pas- all the others, where do they stand in the scale of tures, and her lover to see in the halo around great American cities? Hence, too, the disparthe moon a perfect celestial race-track. aging contrast liable to be drawn between Ken
Comparatively weak and unpronounced are tucky and the gigantic young States of the West.
Where, it is severely asked, is the magnitude of tence floats will reveal a bottom, not of mercanthe commonwealth, where the ground of the tile, but of social ideas; studied as to cost or sense of importance in the people? No huge comfort, the architecture in which the people mills and gleaming forges, no din of factories have expressed themselves will appear noticeand throb of mines, nowhere any colossal cen- able, not in their business houses and public ters for the rushing enterprise and multiform buildings, but in their homes. If these towns energy of the modern American spirit. The pique themselves pointedly on anything, it is answer must be, Judge the State thus far as an that they are the centers of genial intercourse agricultural State; the people as an agricultu- and polite entertainment. Even commercial ral people: in time no doubt the rest will come. Louisville must find its peculiar distinction in All other things are here, awaiting occasion and the number of its sumptuous private residences. development. The eastern portions of the State It is well nigh a rule that in Kentucky the now verge upon an era of long-delayed activ- value of the house is out of proportion to the ity. There lie the mines, the building-stone, value of the estate. the illimitable wealth of timber; there soon Do not, however, make the mistake of supposwill be opened new fields for commercial and ing that because the towns regard themselves industrial centralization. But hitherto in Ken- as the provincial fortresses of a good society, tucky it has seemed enough that the pulse of life they therefore look down upon the home life should beat with the heart of nature, and be in unison with the slow unfolding and decadence of the seasons. The farmer can go no faster than the sun, and is rich or poor by the law of planetary orbits. In all central Kentucky not a single village of note has been founded within three quarters of a century, and some villages a hundred years old have not succeeded in gaining even from this fecund race more than a thousand or two thousand inhabitants. But these little towns are inaccessible to the criticism that would assault their commercial greatness. Business is not their boast. Sounded to its depths, the serene sea in which their exis
THE PORTER'S LODGE.
DRAWN BY W. L. MACLEAN.
of the country. In fact, between country and horse through green pastures and beside still town in Kentucky exists a relation unique and waters. Hence, to be a farmer here implies no well to be understood: such a part of the popu- social inferiority, no rusticity, no boorishness. lation of the town owning or managing estates Hence, so clearly interlaced are urban and rural in the country; such a part of the population society that there results a homogeneousness of the country being business or professional of manners, customs, dress, entertainments, men in town. For it is strikingly true that here ideals, and tastes. Hence, the infiltration of all vocations and avocations of life may and do the country with the best the towns contain. go with tillage, and there are none it is not con- More, indeed, than this: rather to the country sidered to adorn. The first governor of the State than to the towns in Kentucky must one look was awarded his domain for raising a crop of for the local history of the home life. There corn, and laid down public life at last to renew first was implanted under English and Virginhis companionship with the plow. “I retire," ian influences the antique style of country-seat; said Clay, many years afterward,“ to the shades there flourished for a time those gracious manof Ashland.” The present governor (1888), a ners that were the high-born endowment of the man of large wealth, lives, when at home, in olden school; there in piquant contrast were a rural log house built near the beginning of developed side by side the democratic and aristhe century. His predecessor in office was a tocratic spirits, working severally toward equalfarmer. Hardly a man of note in all the past or ity and caste; there was established the State present history of the State but has had his near reputation for effusive private hospitalities; and or immediate origin in the woods and fields. there still are peculiarly cherished the fading Formerly it was the custom — less general now traditions of more festive boards and kindlier — that young men should take their academic hearthstones. If the feeling of the whole people degrees in the colleges of the United States, could be interpreted by a single saying, it would sometimes in those of Europe, and, returning perhaps be this: that whether in town or counhome, hang up their diplomas as votive offerings try — and if in the country, not remotely here to the god of boundaries. To-day you will find or there, but in well-nigh unbroken succession the ex-minister to a foreign court spending his from estate to estate — they have attained a final years in the solitude of his farm-house, and notable stage in the civilization of the home. the representative at Washington making his This is the common conviction, this the idol retreat to the restful homestead. The banker of the tribe. The idol itself may rest on the fact in town bethinks him of stocks at home that of provincial isolation, which is the fortress of know no panic; the clergyman studies St. Paul self-love and neighborly devotion ; but it sufumid the native corn, and muses on the surpas- fices for the present purpose to say that it is
g beauty of David as he rides his favorite an idol still, worshiped for the divinity it is
thought to enshrine. Hence you may assail stands as a singularly interesting type of its the Kentuckian on many grounds, and he will kind, and brings us face to face with primihold his peace. You may tell him that he has tive architecture. Mulberry Hill," a double no great cities, that he does not run with the house, two and a half stories high, with a cencurrents of national progress; but never tell him tral hall, was built in Jefferson County, near that the home life of his fellows and himself is Louisville, in 1785, for John Clark, the father not as good as the best in the land. Domes- of General George Rogers Clark. ticity is the State porcupine, presenting an The settlers made the mistake of supposing angry quill to every point of attack. To write that the country lacked building-stone, so deep of homes in Kentucky, therefore, and particu- under the loam and verdure lay the whole larly of rural homes, is to enter the very citadel foundation rock; but soon they discovered of the popular affections.
that their better houses had only to be taken from beneath their feet. The first stone house
in the State, and withal the most notable, is II. TYPES OF EARLY HOMES.
“ Traveler's Rest,” in Lincoln County, built At first they built for the tribe, working to- in 1783 by Governor Metcalf, who was then gether like beavers in common cause against a stone-mason, for Isaac Shelby, the first govnature and their enemies. Home life and do- ernor of Kentucky. To those who know the mestic architecture began among them with blue-grass landscape, this type of homestead is the wooden-fort community, the idea of which familiar enough, with its solidity of foundation, was no doubt derived from the frontier defenses great thickness of walls, enormous, low chimof Virginia, and modified by the Kentuckians neys, and little windows. The owners were the with a view to domestic use. This building architects and builders, and with stern, neceshabit culminated in the erection of some two sitous industry translated their condition into hundred rustic castles, the sites of which in their work, giving it an intensely human element. some instances are still to be identified. It was It harmonized with need, not with feeling; was a singularly fit sort of structure, adjusting itself built by the virtues, and not by the vanities. desperately and economically to the necessities With no fine balance of proportion, with details of environment. For the time society lapsed few, scant, and crude, the entire effect of the into a state which, but for the want of lords architecture was not unpleasing, so honest was and retainers, was feudalism of the rudest kind. its poverty, so rugged and robust its purpose. There were gates for sally and swift retreat, bastions for defense, and loopholes in cabinwalls for the deadly volleys. There were hunting-parties winding forth stealthily without horn or hound, and returning laden with such antlered game as might have graced the great feudal halls. There was siege, too, and suffering, and death enough, God knows, mingled with the lowing of cattle and the clatter of looms. Some morning, even, you might have seen a slight girl trip covertly out to the little
IMILE cotton-patch in one corner of the inclosure, and, blushing crimson over the snowy cottonbolls, pick the wherewithal to spin her bridal dress; for there they married also and bore children. Many a Kentucky family must trace its origin through the tribal communities pent up within a stockade, and discover that the family It was the gravest of all historic commentaries plate consisted then of a tin cup, and haply written in stone. Instructive enough is the an iron fork.
varied fate that has overtaken these old-time But, as soon as might be, this compulsory structures. Many have been torn down, yieldvillage life broke eagerly asunder into private ing their well-chosen sites to newer, showier homes. The common building form was that edifices. Others became in time the quarters of the log house. It is needful to distinguish of the slaves. Others still have been hidden this from the log house of the mountaineer, away beneath weather-boarding,-a veneer of which is found throughout eastern Kentucky commonplace modernism,- as though whitetv-clay. Encompassed by all difficulties, the washed or painted plank were a finer thing to poneer yet reared himself a complete and see than rough-hewn gray stone. But one is more enduring habitation. One of these, still glad to discover that in numerous instances intact after the lapse of more than a century, they are the preferred homes of those who have