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In this study of Kentucky pioneer life, Charles R. Staples creates a colorful record of Lexington's first twenty-seven years. He writes of the establishment of an urban center in the midst of the frontier expansion, and in the process documents Lexington's vanishing history. Staples begins with the settlement of the town, describing its early struggles and movement toward becoming the "capitol" of Fayette County. He also presents interesting pictures of the early pioneers and their livelihood: food, dress, houses, cooking utensils, "house raisings," religious meetings, horse races, and other types of entertainment.

First published in 1939, this reprint provides those interested in the early history of Kentucky with a comprehensive look at Lexington's pioneer period. Staples recreates a time when downtown's busiest streets were still wilderness and a land rich with agricultural potential was developing commercial elements. Because he wrote during a period when much of pioneer Lexington remained, he provides a wealth of primary information that could not be assembled again.

Charles R. Staples (1875-1954) was born in Lexington. He worked as a safety inspector for the Southern Railway System and was closely identified with the organized safety movement on American railroads. He wrote many articles, including a series in the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society on "History in Circuit Court Records."

"It almost seemed as though Staples had been on hand at Postlethwait's Tavern to greet the foreign travelers who came by stage coach down the Limestone-Lexington Road."—Thomas D. Clark

"Far surpasses any early history of any other Kentucky town yet published."—The Filson Club History Quarterly

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Lexington, Kentucky, Kentucky history, Frontier life, Pioneer life, Lexington history


United States History


Reprint edition; foreword by Thomas D. Clark.

The History of Pioneer Lexington, 1779-1806
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