By Charles Mayer Dupier, Jr.



     Prehistoric Native Americans were mobile peoples. They traveled widely for the purposes of warfare and trade. Originally, their thoroughfares were the trails made by herds of such migratory megafauna as wooly mammoth, mastodon, and bison.(1) Since these animals were seasonal migrators, their trails were almost necessarily north-south routes. One of the best known of these trails is the Athiamiowee, or "path of the armed ones," which is better known as the "Warriors' Path."(2)

     Beginning in about the fourteenth century, an increase in warfare and the beginnings of new, larger tribal groupings (which resulted in greater social and political complexity) became more and more a part of life for Native Americans in eastern North America, especially among the Iroquois of central New York.(3) The trails may have begun to offer greater dangers than simply the threat of wild animals.

     Trading in exotic goods and materials has existed since the Late Archaic period (2,000-1,000 years B.C.E.) in eastern North America.(4) By the beginning of the Mississippian Period (800 C.E.), other goods, such as ceremonial and prestige items, were common in trade inventories. As the complex chiefdom form of social organization moved toward its climax in the Late Mississippian Period, trade in prestige goods grew in importance to the point of necessity .(5) With this growth the trails over which these commodities were carried became busier and more interconnected.

     During the eighteenth century explorers from the Atlantic colonies pressed beyond the Allegheny and Appalachian mountains into the new west. Men such as Dr. Thomas Walker and Christopher Gist, upon entering Kentucky in 1750, used these trails to their advantage and often noted in their journals that they were traveling "Indian roads."(6) Later, in 1775, Daniel Boone, on behalf of Colonel Richard Henderson, was employed to "...cut a path to Kentucky. "(7) This road, called the "Wilderness Road," often followed Native American trails. From the Cumberland Gap to Flat Lick, Kentucky, Boone's Trace followed a well-defined Indian road. From that point Boone followed what is believed to be, for the most part, a prehistoric trail which led northwest from Flat Lick, in Knox County, to the Bluegrass region. Boone departed from this trail in Rockcastle County and blazed a new trail northward toward the settlement of Boonesboro, in Madison County.(8)

Delimitation of the Upper Cumberland Basin

     This paper will explore the prehistoric trail network in one comparatively small area--the valley of the upper Cumberland river in Southeastern Kentucky. The upper Cumberland is that portion of the river which extends from the Cumberland Falls, on the present boundary of Whitley and McCreary counties, eastward to the river's source in southwestern Letcher County, located only a few miles east of the Harlan County line. The upper Cumberland watershed is almost completely contained in the counties of Harlan, Bell, Knox, Whitley and McCreary.

Description of the Physical Environment

     The upper Cumberland River basin is in the Cumberland Plateau section of the Cumberland/Allegheny Plateau Province.(9) The Cumberland River drains portions of two subregions of the Province: The Cumberland Mountains subregion and the Mountain and Creek Bottom subregion.(10) This area is a maturely dissected plateau, the rocks of which are sandstones and shales of the Pennsylvanian Period. The topography is dominated by low mountains. The creek and river valleys are classified as in the mature stage of erosional development.(11)

Relationship To Other Watersheds

     The upper Cumberland River basin lies in the midst of other important river basins which were occupied by prehistoric Native Americans. To the south are the rivers which compose the upper Tennessee River basin: The Holston, Clinch, Powell, French Broad, and Tennessee Rivers. On the north is the watershed of the Kentucky River's three main tributaries: The North Fork, the Middle Fork and the South Fork. The Kentucky River drains the Bluegrass region of central Kentucky and empties into the Ohio River at Carrollton. To the West is the middle section of the Cumberland, which extends from Cumberland Falls to Nashville, Tennessee. East of the upper Cumberland basin is the watershed of the Big Sandy River, which drains far eastern Kentucky and empties into the Ohio River at Ashland.

Known Prehistoric Sites in the Upper Cumberland Basin

     The occurrence of archaeological sites in the upper Cumberland basin are too numerous to detail. The Kentucky Archaeological Survey files show that there are more than 300 sites representing all archaeological periods in Whitley County alone. For the purpose of this paper, only the most prominent of the Mississippian Period sites will be noted, since the development of the trail system was completed during this time.

     As the result of an intensive search of the files of the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, Richard W. Jefferies notes five Mississippian rockshelter sites in Whitley County, two in Bell County and one in Harlan County. Jefferies places four habitation sites without mounds in Whitley, fourteen in Knox, three in Bell and two in Harlan. He notes six mortuary sites in Knox and one in Bell. He places two mound sites in Whitley, two in Knox, one in Bell, and one in Harlan. He also notes three "other," unspecified sites: one in Whitley and two in Harlan.(12) Constantine S. Rafinesque, a professor of natural history at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, toured the state in 1823 describing what he called ancient sites and monuments.(13) Rafinesque wrote of many prehistoric sites in the counties of the upper Cumberland basin. In Harlan County, along the Cumberland River near its source (probably indicating the area where the Poor Fork and Clover Fork rivers join to form the Cumberland), were two sites with a total of five monuments (probably indicating mounds).(14) In his History of Kentucky,(15) Lewis Collins elaborates on Rafinesque's notation. Collins states that the town of Mount Pleasant (present day Harlan) was built on a "...high mound or Indian graveyard..." from which "...have been taken a large quantity of human bones, pots curiously made of blue earth and muscle shell, and dried in the sun."(16) This is probably the site of a Mississippian platform mound, which is evidenced by the occurrence of shell-tempered pottery. Sources in Harlan have informed this writer that the county courthouse now sets atop the site of the mound, which had been excavated for the courthouse basement.

     Rafinesque records that there are three sites and seven monuments in Knox County.(17) It is possible that one of these sites and monuments is the one located in Pineville, but neither Rafinesque nor Collins mentions that there was a town with a mound at the site of Pineville.(18) The files of the Kentucky Archaeological Survey contain information, however, that testifies to there being one (Site 15B15). The location of this mound is in the built-up area of the city, and there is currently no evidence of it. Thomas Walker does not mention this site either, though he did describe the mound and houses on the Croley-Evans site (discussed below).(19)

     Collins records that "Three miles from Barboursville [sic] on the north bank of the Cumberland, there are the remains of an ancient fortress, around which a circular ditch is discernible, enclosing about four acres of ground."(20) The location of this Knox County site is not presently known.

     Downstream about fourteen miles from Barbourville, on the west bank of the Cumberland River, is a small mound that appears to be from one to three meters in height (15Kx26). As far as is known to this writer, the site has never been excavated either by professional or amateur archaeologists--the Cobb family, who own the farm on which the site is located, fiercely defends it against intrusion.

     South of the Cobb site about three miles, on the west bank of the river, is the Croley-Evans site (15Kx24) mentioned above. This site was excavated during the summers of 1993 and 1994 by Richard W. Jefferies. This is a Mississippian town with a platform mound. The habitation area covers about five hectares.(21)

     While visiting Whitley County, Rafinesque has written that there was "A town on the Cumberland, above Williamsburg, with 20 houses, and a teocalli [a truncated pyramidal mound] 360 feet long, 150 wide, 12 high. --Remains of towns with houses on the waters of Laurel river and Watts creek." The site at Williamsburg (15Wh64) is located about one-half mile upstream from the center of town on the C. B. Upton property. The mound has been extensively cultivated during the past 170 years and is now only about one and one-half meters high. This writer has taken several soil probes to a depth of ninety centimeters and found no evidence of stratification or habitation. Mrs. C. B. Upton has said that her children used to pick up large amounts of chert pieces and projectile points between the mound and the river when the land was plowed.

     There is a large, two-stage platform mound with a habitation area of about four hectares in southern Whitley County a few hundred meters from the Tennessee line on the Bowman property. Jim Railey, of the Kentucky Heritage Council, surveyed this site (15Wh61) in 1985 and recorded his findings with the Office of State Archaeology. The shell tempered ceramics and triangular projectile points on the surface indicate that it is a Mississippian site.

Prehistoric Trails

     Two main prehistoric trails passed through the upper Cumberland basin area. Both ran north and south. The Warriors' Path, the best known, passed approximately through the middle of the area. The other, called by William E. Myer, the Tennessee, Ohio and Great Lakes Trail,(22) passed just to the west of the upper Cumberland basin. It was from these two principal routes that east-west branch trails connected the towns of the upper Cumberland.

The Warriors' Path

     The Warriors' Path in Kentucky extended north from the Cumberland Gap through the eastern edge of the Middlesboro Basin, down Yellow Creek to the point where that creek turns east. It then follows an overland route to the Pine Mountain water gap at Pineville. At Pineville, the path crossed the Cumberland River and followed along the east bank to Flat Lick, about six miles north of Pineville.(23) At Flat Lick, which is at the confluence of Stinking Creek and the Cumberland River, the trail turns northeast, up Stinking Creek, then follows a tributary called Trace Branch northward to its head, then crosses Kentucky Ridge at Paint Gap into the headwaters of Goose Creek which is in the watershed of the South Fork of the Kentucky River.(24) Thomas Walker, on May 1, 1750, approached the future site of Barbourville from the west and went northeastward up Little Richland Creek, across the ridge and down the Collins Fork of Goose Creek.(25) Walker notes in his journal on that day, "We got to Powell's River [Goose Creek] in the afternoon and went down it along an Indian Road, much frequented.. .and I think it is that Which goes through Cave Gap [Cumberland Gap]. "(26)

Prehistoric Trails in the Upper Cumberland River Basin

The Tennessee. Ohio and Great Lakes Trail

     The Tennessee, Ohio and Great Lakes Trail began at the site of Chattanooga, Tennessee, went up the west side of the Tennessee River, past Hiawassee Island and followed the east flank of Wallen's Ridge to Rockwood, Tennessee. From there, it passed through the present site of Wartburg, Tennessee, on the Cumberland Plateau, northward through Oneida, Tennessee, and into Kentucky. In Kentucky, it followed the level land of the undissected plateau through the present locations of Pine Knot and Whitley City, in McCreary County, on to Burnside on the Cumberland River well below the Cumberland Falls.(27)

The Thunderstruck Shoals Trail

     This trail is mentioned, but not named, by Myer as being a connector between the prehistoric settlements near Williamsburg, Kentucky, and the settlements to the west on the middle section of the Cumberland River in Wayne County, Kentucky. It crossed the Tennessee, Ohio and Great Lakes Trail in McCreary County at the community of Wiborg, about six miles north of Whitley City.(28) This writer has named it the "Thunderstruck Shoals Trail" because it crosses the Cumberland River at Thunderstruck Shoals.(29) On April 24, 1750, Thomas Walker and two companions were exploring the area west of their campsite on the Cumberland River south of Barbourville. Walker records in his journal, "This day we Came on the fresh Track of 7 or 8 Indians, but could not overtake them."(30) This writer has traced Walker's steps on April 23-25, 1750, using the journal, maps and on-site reconnaissance, both forward and in reverse (which is often the only way his exact location can be detennined). Walker's position here is about six or eight miles east of Young's Creek (Walker called it Rocky Creek), which he turned down to reach the Cumberland River.(31)

     The Thunderstruck Shoals trail is probably the one shown on the 1894 topographic map of the area as being the only uninterrupted road leading from the area north of Whitley City, across the Cumberland River, to State Highway 26 northeast of Williamsburg,(32) where it intercepted a north-south trail (discussed below). It leads east from Wiborg along Beulah Heights Ridge (The old locals called it Bullet Mold Ridge, but that name has passed from usage) to Indian Creek. It generally follows Indian Creek to the Cumberland River at Thunderstruck Shoals about a mile above the mouth of the Creek. One and one-half miles from the mouth the trail turns north about a mile, to avoid extremely rugged terrain, before descending to the river. Once across the shoals the trail leads eastward along a crooked ridge to "The Steps," an erosional feature involving a number of strata of sandstone which are arranged like stair steps descending to a lower elevation. From "The Steps," the trail makes a "U-shaped" swing to the south to avoid the breaks of Calf Pen Fork Creek, then resumes its eastward direction crossing Young's Creek and Blake's Fork Creek and on to State Road 26.

The Capuchin Trail

     Myer writes, "There is a prominent trail crossing the railroad at Silerville [Kentucky]. It connected the Jellico Creek and Elk Creek Indian towns with the Wayne County [Kentucky] towns.(33) Elk Creek is a tributary which enters the Clear Fork River near Jellico, Tennessee-Kentucky. The name "Capuchin" is selected for this trail because it follows this creek for a longer distance than any other. It is proposed that this is the true path of the Capuchin Trail because it follows the path of least topographic resistance, is the shortest distance between Silerville, Kentucky, and Elk Creek, in Tennessee, and is shown as an uninterrupted route on the 1894 U.S.G.S. Reconnaissance Map cited above.

     The trail follows Kentucky State Road 1470 east and south to Murphy Creek, and down that creek to Marsh Creek where it leaves the state road. The trail continues south, up Marsh Creek for about one and one-half miles until the road crosses Marsh Creek. Then it goes upward on an unnamed ridge and follows the ridge southeastward. It crosses into Tennessee, then downward into the headwaters of Childers Creek. The trail continues southeastward down the creek to the Gum Fork of Jellico Creek and follows that creek eastward, past the community of Ketchen, where Gum Fork joins Jellico Creek, then it follows down Jellico Creek about two miles to a point opposite Thomas Hollow. The trail then turns south through Angel Gap and down to Capuchin Creek. It follows Capuchin Creek, generally eastward, to where Capuchin turns north, then crosses the creek and goes up Trammel Branch, southeastward, to the top of Jellico Mountain. Then the trail descends to the headwaters of Burnt Pone Creek, eastward down that creek to the community of Newcomb on Elk Creek. It then crosses Elk Creek, turns northeastward and follows the east side of Elk Creek for approximately four miles, crossing the Kentucky line, to the Bowman site in southern Whitley County.

The Clear Fork Trail

     The Clear Fork Trail is a continuation of that part of the Capuchin Trail which descends Elk Creek. It runs from the Bowman site (about a quarter of a mile north of the Tennessee line) to the present site of Williamsburg, Kentucky. Thomas Walker and Captain Daniel Smith traveled this route on November 22-25, 1779.(34) On Saturday, November 20, 1779, they arrived at the point they believed to be 36 degrees, 30 minutes North Latitude along the Clear Fork River (They were actually at 36 degrees, 35 minutes, 30 seconds North). On Sunday, November 21, Smith made the following entry in his journal: "This morning a party of Cherokee Indians and a White Man of the name of Springstone came to us..."(35) Upon leaving their camp and heading northward, they stopped by the Indian camp (It is possible that Springstone and the Cherokees were camped at the Bowman site, which is about one-fourth mile north from Smith's camp) and recruited three of the Cherokees to guide them to the Wilderness Road. The Indians led them down the east side of the Clear Fork, keeping to the edge of the flood plain. They crossed the river at the present site of the community of Pleasant View. From there they kept down the west side of the river until they came to the Cumberland River, about one-half mile below the confluence of the Clear Fork and the Cumberland. On November 25, they "travelled across from the river to Indian Cr. [Watts Creek]. "(36) This last short leg of the trail, from the Cumberland to Watts Creek, about three miles, follows the river downstream for about one-half mile, then it forks. The left fork continues to follow the river to a shoal that is easily forded. Upon crossing the shoal, one would be at the Upton site in Williamsburg (This was the path of the earliest road into Williamsburg when it became the seat of Whitley County in 1818). The right fork led up what is now known as King's Mountain to an erosional terrace about 100 feet above the river (the Highland Park district of Williamsburg), along that level terrace northward for about two and one-half miles, and down a small branch to Watts Creek, about one-fourth mile above its confluence with the Cumberland River.(37) The route of this trail is also depicted on the Reconnaissance Map of 1894.(38)

The Watts Creek Trail

     The Watts Creek Trail is a continuation of the Clear Fork Trail. The Smith party followed this trail to the present site of the community of Woodbine in northern Whitley County.(39)

     The trail follows Watts Creek northward for about six miles, where it intersects with the Thunderstruck Shoals Trail at the present site of the community of Rockholds. From that intersection, it continues northward about four miles to the community of Faber. From here, the trail follows northeastward up Eaton Branch of Watts Creek, about four miles, to the east side of Woodbine where it crosses Lynn Camp Creek. The Watts Creek Trail continued northward and intersected the Wilderness Road in the Laurel River valley. This must have been the true path because the descriptions and distances logged in Smith's journal are easy to follow on current U.S.G.S. topographic maps (Wofford, Rockholds, Vox and Corbin quadrangles) and the fact that three Native Americans were guiding them supports the existence of the trail.

The Meadow Creek Trail

     This trail leads from the Watts Creek Trail to the mouth of Meadow Creek in eastern Whitley County. Thomas Walker followed this trail during his exploration of Kentucky in 1750.(40) There are two possible routes for this trail. One route would make it an eastward extension of the Thunderstruck Shoals Trail. The other, about four miles to the south, would take it up Brown's Creek. The former route would follow up Tye's Fork Creek from Rockholds, across a low divide and down a small branch to Meadow Creek (a distance of about five miles). The trail would then have followed the east side of Meadow Creek to its confluence with the Cumberland River.(41)

     The other possible route would have been up Brown's Creek, down Whetstone Creek to a point about a mile from the confluence of that stream with the Cumberland River, then it turned overland to Meadow Creek, and down that stream to its mouth.

     Walker's description of the route he followed leaves much to be desired: "We crossed Indian Creek [Watts Creek] and Went down Meadow Creek to the River. "(42) The brief narrative does not mention going up Watts Creek to the intersection of the trails and then heading eastward to Meadow Creek. But it would be logical to assume that as he came down the Watts Creek Trail several days before and headed westward on the Thunderstruck Shoals Trail he would have noted that the east-west trail continued eastward, the direction he would later want to go to return to his camp on the Cumberland River. Or, it could have been his opinion that the Brown's Creek route would be a short-cut to his destination.

     It should be noted that both these routes appear on the Reconnaissance maps cited above. They are, in fact, the only two roads which lead from Watts Creek to Meadow Creek. The Tye's Fork route would be a logical extension of the Thunderstruck Trail, and the shortest distance between the McCreary County settlements and the Croley-Evans site. The Brown's Creek route would have been the shortest distance between the Upton site at Williamsburg and the Croley-Evans site.

     It is not known if the trail leading from the Meadow Creek Trail to the Croley-Evans site followed the river upstream or cut across the low divide to the east of the Meadow Creek Trail. Reason would suggest that a site as significant as Croley-Evans, containing a platform mound and a rather large village, would not be isolated from communication routes or lie on a dead-end trail. When Thomas Walker reached the mouth of Meadow Creek on April 27, 1750, he probably followed a trail northward along the river to his campsite. He notes in his journal, "Below the mouth of the Creek, and above the mouth are the remains of Several Indian Cabbins [sic] and amongst them a round Hill made by Art about 20 feet high and 60 over the Top. We went up the River and Camped on the Bank. "(43) This is a description of the Croley-Evans site. Whether Walker was following an existing trail or blazing his way through the wilderness is not known; but to have seen the site so clearly he had to have passed very nearby, perhaps on a trail that led through it to points upriver, ultimately Barbourville.

The Black Mountain Trail

     The fact that there was such a large mound and village at the present site of Harlan, Kentucky, suggests that the place was connected to other settlements in the region. There is a dearth of information concerning prehistoric trails in the area of Harlan County, however, it is only logical that such trails existed.

     There is only one feasible route which would connect the Harlan site with the Warriors' Path and the townsite at Pineville. That route had to follow the Cumberland River. The topography outside the river valley is so difficult to traverse that no other logical conclusion can be drawn.

     As was stated earlier, it is difficult to believe that a town was located on a dead-end trail--especially one that is thirty-five miles long (the distance from Pineville to Harlan). In order to determine the route that this trail might have followed, it is necessary to find a gap across Cumberland Mountain to the south and the basin of the Powell River. The only gap in Cumberland Mountain south of central Harlan County is Cranks Gap. The trail to Cranks Gap, which would have followed a line of least resistance would be the present route of U.S. Highway 421. This road leads southeast from Harlan, through Cawood, to a point about one and one-half miles west of Mill Creek Church (on the creek of the same name). Here an old trail, which can still be seen on the topographic map for Evarts, Kentucky,(44) leads south about two miles, through Cranks Gap (into Virginia) to Trading Creek, a tributary, to the Powell River. There are other ways out of central Harlan County, but none are so short and direct with so few obstacles.

     Richard Jefferies' map(45) indicates that there was a Mississippian habitation site, without a mound, located near the present site of the city of Cumberland, about fifteen miles east of Harlan, and near the headwaters of the Cumberland River. There may have been a trail which led from Harlan to this site, and perhaps beyond. That trail would have, out of topographic necessity, followed up the Poor Fork of the Cumberland River. If such a trail existed it would have had to exit the area in a southerly direction by going over Little Black Mountain (the highest point in Kentucky) and through Stone Gap into the basin of the Powell River. A state highway currently follows this route, but it is not known if that highway follows an ancient trail.


     The existence of prehistoric Native American trails in the upper Cumberland River basin can be documented historically through such sources as the journals of early explorers who entered the area west of the Allegheny/Appalachian Mountains in the eighteenth century. Men like Thomas Walker and Christopher Gist noted in their journals that they followed "Indian trails" through much of the wilderness. The most noted of these trails in the upper Cumberland area were the "Warriors' Path" and the "Tennessee, Ohio and Great Lakes Trail." Lesser known, but of regional extent, was the trail which this writer has described in three parts: The trail leading down Elk Creek, in Tennessee, which continued northward as the Clear Fork Trail, and still further northward as the Watts Creek Trail. These were north/south thoroughfares which connected the Native Americans of the Great Lakes region with those of the southeast.

     In the upper Cumberland basin there were east/west trails which were feeders to these main north/south routes. There were at least two trails which crossed the Tennessee, Ohio and Great Lakes Trail and connected to the Clear Fork/Watts Creek Trail. These were the Thunderstruck Shoals Trail and the Capuchin Trail. Another east/west route, the Meadow Creek Trail, was a continuation of the Thunderstruck Shoals Trail and led from the present site of Rockholds, Kentucky, to the Croley-Evans site on the Cumberland River south of Barbourville. Another possible prehistoric route led from the present site of Williamsburg, Kentucky, up Brown's Creek to Meadow Creek and the Croley-Evans site.

     It is unclear where the trail led from the Croley-Evans site to connect with the Warriors' Path. It may have followed the west bank of the Cumberland to Barbourville, or it may have crossed the river and followed it on the east. Another trail led from the Warriors' Path to the site at Harlan, Kentucky, and beyond, to the settlements in the Powell Valley of Virginia. This writer has suggested that the location of such a trail would follow the Cumberland River from Pineville to Harlan, southeastward to Cranks Gap and into the Powell basin. An alternate route could have connected the settlement at Harlan with the settlement at Cumberland, and thence southward through Stone Gap into the Powell basin.

     If the description of these trails is accurate, future searches for regionally significant Native American settlement sites may be enhanced by their use as guides to the movement of prehistoric peoples in the upper Cumberland basin. If heretofore unknown sites are confirmed along these routes, other connecting trails may be discovered, thus expanding our knowledge of prehistoric communications routes and the patterns of Native American settlements.


1. William E. Myer, Indian Trails of the Southeast (Nashville: Blue and Gray Press, 1971), 1.

2. John E. Kleber, ed., The Kentucky Encyclopedia (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1992), s.v. "Warriors Path," by Neal Hammon.

3. The advent of warfare as an important factor in the life of the Iroquois and the development of tribalism as a defensive organization are discussed in Brian Fagan, Ancient North America: The Archaeologv of a Continent (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1991), 421-23. The spread of Iroquois warfare into southeastern North America and its effects on the economy and social organization of the Mississippian peoples are discussed in Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, Bulletin 30, Part 2. (Washington: Bureau of American Ethnology, 1910), 800 and 802.

4. Fagan, Ancient North America, 333-54.

5. Bruce G. Trigger, Natives and Newcomers: Canada's "Heroic" Age Reconsidered (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 1985), cited in Fagan, Ancient North America, 422.

6. "Doctor Thomas Walker's Journal" and "Colonel Christopher Gist's Journal,"in J. Stoddard Johnston, ed., First Explorations of Kentucky (Louisville: John P. Morton and Co.,1898).

7. Robert L. Kincaid, The Wilderness Road (Middlesboro, Kentucky: Private Publication, 1966), 99.

8. lbid., 102-103.

9. Nevin M. Fenneman, Phvsiography of the Eastern United States (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1938), 333-42.

10. Joseph R. Schwendeman, Geography of Kentucky: An Environmental and Social Science 6th ed. (Lexington, Kentucky: Kentucky Images, 1987), 25-26. Fenneman, Physiography of the Eastern United States, gives subregional names to only the Cumberland Mountains and the Crab Orchard Mountains of the Cumberland Plateau. Schwendeman designates others: The Mountain and Creek Bottom subregion, the Undissected Plateau subregion, and the Escarpment subregion.

11. William Morris Davis, Elementary Physical Geography (Boston: Ginn and Co., 1902), 269-70.

12. Richard W. Jefferies, "Location of Mississippian Components in the Eight County Upper Cumberland Project Area," Figure 2, unpublished map, 1994. The locations of these sites have been gleaned from the files of the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, Lexington, Kentucky.

13. Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, Ancient History. or the Annals of Kentucky (Frankfort: Printed for the Author, 1824), Appendix I, 33-37.

14. lbid., 33.

15. Lewis Collins, History of Kentucky (Cincinnati: James and Co., 1847; reprint, Lexington, Kentucky: Henry Clay Press, 1968).

16. lbid., 340.

17. Rafinesque, Ancient History, 33.

18. Pineville is now the County Seat of Bell County, but Bell County was not created from Harlan and Knox Counties until 1867, and did not exist when Rafinesque and Collins wrote their histories.

19. Johnston, First Explorations of Kentucky, 54-55.

20. Collins, History of Kentucky, 396.

21. Richard W. Jefferies, "Preliminary Assessment of Mississippian Settlement at the Croley-Evans Site (15Kx24), Knox County, Kentucky," Paper presented at the Kentucky Heritage Council Archaeological Conference, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, Kentucky, February 26-27, 1994.

22. Myer, Indian Trails of the Southeast, 105-110.

23. Ibid 47-48.

24. Norm Isaac, The Warrior Trail of Kentucky (Dublin, Indiana: Printit Press, 1980),


25. Johnston, First Explorations of Kentucky, 56-57.

26. Ibid., 57.

27. Myer, Indian Trails of the Southeast, 105-110,.

28. Ibid., 109.

29. Please refer to Figure 1 on page 5, which is a map of the trails discussed in this paper.

30. Johnston, First Explorations of Kentucky, 53.

31. Ibid.

32. Department of the Interior, U. S. Geological Survey Reconnaissance Map, Williamsburg, Kentucky -- Tennessee. Edition of 1894, reprinted 1921. This route can be followed on the modern topographic maps of the Wiborg, Cumberland Falls and Wofford 7.5 minute quadrangles.

33. Myer, Indian Trails of the Southeast, 109.

34. Daniel Smith, The Journal of General Daniel Smith. August. 1779 to July 1780, Lyman C. Draper Collection, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, entries for November 22-25, 1779.

35. Ibid.

36. Ibid.

37. The writer has resided in Williamsburg for 28 years and served as City Planning Commissioner for ten years. He has seen this part of the trail on many of the old maps and plats of the city.

38. Department of the Interior, U. S. Geological Survey Reconnaissance Map cited in footnote 39.

39. Smith, Journal, November 25-27, 1779.

40. Johnston, First Explorations of Kentucky, 54-55.

41. Department of the Interior, U. S. Geological Survey, Reconnaissance Map, Cumberland Gap, Ky.-Va.-Tenn., Edition of March, 1891, reprinted, 1923.

42. Johnston, First Explorations of Kentucky, 54.

43. Ibid., 54-55.

44. United States Department of the Interior, Geological Survey, Evarts Quadrangle, Virginia-Kentucky, 7.5 minute Series (Topographic), 1954.

45. Jefferies, "Location," Figure 2.