Cumberland River

views updated


CUMBERLAND RIVER, which flows through southern Kentucky and northern Tennessee, was named by Dr. Thomas Walker in 1750. Near it, Walker's exploring party built the first-known cabin in Kentucky and spent the winter of 1750–51. The Wilderness Road crossed the river a short distance from Cumberland Gap, and many early adventurers and settlers in Kentucky and Tennessee followed the river to their destinations. Among the earliest were the Long Hunters (so called because they were absent from home for long periods) in 1769 and the settler parties of John Donelson and James Robertson in 1779 and 1780. In 1780, 300 bushels of corn grown at Boonesborough were shipped in pirogues via the Kentucky, Ohio, and Cumberland Rivers to the fort where Nashville now stands.


Arnow, Harriette Louisa Simpson. Seedtime on the Cumberland. New York: McMillan, 1960.

McCague, James. The Cumberland. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1973.

Jonathan T.Dorris/h. s.

See alsoLand Companies ; Wilderness Road .