When Was Kentucky Founded?

The Kentucky State Capitol.
The Kentucky State Capitol.

Kentucky is a state in the US found in the east south-central part of the country, and it is one out of the four States which was constituted as a commonwealth the others being the state of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Initially, the state of Kentucky was part of Virginia and in 1792 Kentucky was admitted to the Union as the 15th state in the country. Presently, the state of Kentucky is the 37th largest state by land area. The state has been nicknamed the Bluegrass State which was derived from a huge expanse of pastures as a result of the fertile soils within the state. The Bluegrass Region in Kentucky is one of the major regions which is home to two cities of Lexington and Louisville.

Admission Into the Union

There are several reasons why the residents of Kentucky decided to separate from Virginia. One of the main reasons was that travel to the capital of the state was often a dangerous journey, and therefore the residence wanted the administrative center to be near where they were living. Secondly, Virginia had not recognized the significance of the trade on the Mississippi River on the economy of Kentucky, and lastly, the use of local militia especially against the Indian needed orders from Virginia’s governor. Similarly, Virginia prohibited any trade with New Orleans, which at the time was a Spanish colony and had control over the Mississippi River’s mouth, which was crucial to the communities living in Kentucky. All these problems became even more profound as the population in Kentucky increased, and this led to Colonel Benjamin Logan holding a constitutional convention in 1784 at Danville. There were several other conventions in the subsequent years, and General James Wilkinson in one of the conventions agitated for cessation from the US and from Virginia to become a ward of Spain; however, this idea was defeated. Virginia granted consent to Kentucky to become a state in 1788 through two Enabling Acts. In April 1792 the conventional of the delegates drafted the first Constitution of Kentucky and handed it over to the Congress of the US and on June 1st, 1792, Kentucky was admitted to the Union as the 15th state.

Kentucky in the American Civil War 1861–1865

The population in the state of Kentucky in 1860 stood at 1.1 million, and out of this, about 25% were slaves mainly concentrated in the Bluegrass Region, Lexington, and Louisville. During the American Civil War the state of Kentucky was neutral until the new legislature in 1861 took the office which had strong sympathy with the Union and most of the citizens in the Commonwealth as well were strong sympathizers of the Union. The General of the Confederacy, Leonidas Polk invaded Columbus in Kentucky and therefore breaking Kentucky’s neutrality stand on September 4th, 1861, and in retaliation out of anger the state legislature of Kentucky ordered the flag of the Union to be raised in the state capitol in Frankfort. Consequently, Kentucky declared allegiance to the Union and remained under the Union until the end of the war.

The Economy of Kentucky

Kentucky has been a farming state for a long time, and it is home to the first commercial winery to be established in the United States in 1799. Currently, the state of Kentucky is the 5th largest in goat farming, the 8th largest in production of beef, and the 14th largest in production of corn. For a long time, the state has been the main center for the tobacco industry and currently, the state has diversified its economy to include non-agricultural activities such as manufacturing, oil production, and medical facilities among others.


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