How Kentucky County, Virginia, developed to Kentucky Statehood

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On May 13th, 1607, 104 Englishmen named, Jamestown VA, after their King James I. Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in North America, according to the National Park Service (NPS).
Jamestown was the first US settlement. It was commissioned by King James I of England'

The Journal of Applied Research in Economic Development (JARED), states that Kentucky became a state of the United States (US) on June 1, 1792. Kentucky was the 15th state formed in the US.

Virginia's Kentucky County

According to a Yale Law School publication, The First Charter of Virginia (1606) gave the Virginia Company of London colonists land rights, and the right to profit by fur trapping, gold mining, and other activities.
This is a page from King John 1's, First Charter of

In 1609, King John I, sent forth the Second Charter of Virginia, that explicitly named Englishmen, statesmen, politicians, fisherman, and haberdashers, that would hold certain authorities in the Virginian colonial front. The original colonists of Virginia were able to survive from contributions and eventually endure the, native Powhatan Indians.

In 1776, Virginia organized Kentucky County, Virginia. According to JARED, Virginia delegated Kentucky County appointed officials including attorney, surveyors, and land commissioners. The interest of these officials toward their Kentucky Countians, would eventually lead to the forming for Kentucky as a state in 1972.

Kentucky County's Growth

Kentucky County's geography had been inhabited by people for atleast 15,000 years prior. Yet, it grew at a substantial rate since the Virginian formation of Kentucky County, Virginia. In 1980, The other counties were formed from Kentucky County: Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties, according to the Kentucky Geological Society (KGS).
By 1783, many of the Kentucky County, VA inhabitants had come from the Carolinas, Pennsylavia, and elsewhere, not Virginia.Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky County, VA's land continued to be broken into counties. In 1784, Nelson Co. formed, Bourbon Co. formed in 1785; Mercer Co., 1785; Madison Co., 1785; Mason Co., 1788; and Woodford, 1788. Thus, Kentucky entered statehood on June 1,1792 with nine counties.

From 1784 - 1791, Kentucky officials, land administrators, and surveyors began their push for Kentucky statehood. According to JARED, Virginia's designation of Kentucky County, Virginia, also spawned the creation of the, Kentucky County Court public office on the trans-Appalachian frontier. The Kentucky County Court, was comprised of various, citizen-interested, appointed officials.

From 1776 - 1785, Virginia practiced primogeniture. Primogeniture is a system in which property is passed to a legitimate heir. During Kentucky Co., Virginia's time in primogeniture, it exercised the incessant rights of a first-born child of the state of Virginia.
Shows indians fighting around the times of the Revolutionary War, near Kentucky County, Va. The Battle of the Blue Licks.KyNational Guard

During 1785 -1983, Virginians and colonizers of other United States territories would fight the Revolutionary War. Virginia was paying Revolutionary soldiers in land warrants that served as a warrant to own land the state had granted them. These land warrants were sold cheaply and prosperous men with money would by large amounts of Kentucky Co., VA land. JARED notes that,

The Bluegrass country … was never a poor man’s frontier’

With new, non-Virginians, finding settlement in Kentucky county, and harsh Indian attack in December 1784 in Lincoln County, delegates set a May 1785 convention date to initiate the process to join statehood. Kentucky Co. population, in 1784 was roughly 30,000.
the Kentucky Supreme court has the final rulings for matters of Kentucky jurisdiction.KySupremeCourt

It would take 10 conventions to formalize Kentucky as its own state, beginning in 1785. The last two conventions finalized Kentucky's statehood in 1791.


National Park Service

Journal of Applied Research in Economic Development

Yale Law School

Kentucky Geological Society

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